Hundreds of medical workers in Thailand, who had received both the doses of China's Sinovac vaccine, have reported Covid-19 infections, raising questions about the Chinese vaccine's efficacy.
Thailand's health ministry said on Sunday that as many as 600 medical personnel have been infected with COVID-19 despite taking the Sinovac jabs.
Only Sinovac in Early Phase of Vaccination
According to the data available with the ministry, some 677,348 medical workers were administered with the Sinovac vaccine. The data pertains to the period from April to July showed. Among the workers infected with the virus, a nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition, Reuters reported.
When the vaccinations began in February, Thailand had only the Chinese Sinovac vaccines at their disposal. However, from June onwards, the authorities started administering AstraZeneca vaccine as well.
The United States has committed to donate some 1.5 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which are slated to arrive soon.
Third Dose for Medical Workers
Following the report, Thai experts have suggested that the authorities may advise a third dose for the medical workers. "This will be a different vaccine, either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, which Thailand will be receiving in the near term," senior health official Sopon Iamsirithawon said.
On Sunday, Thailand reported 9,418 community infections, which is a record daily high. As many as 2,711 people have died in Thailand ever since the pandemic began last year.
Meanwhile, Indonesia, which has also reported a surge in new cases, has said it will start giving the Moderna vaccine as booster doses for the medical workers.
Last week, a leaked document from the Thai health ministry raised doubts about the efficacy of Sinovac Biotech's vaccine. The memo intended for internal use included an opinion that mRNA vaccine shouldn't be given a boost because that could bring down people's confidence in China's Sinovac vaccine.
The memo included opinions from a number of in-house health experts. One of the writers of the opinion recommended the authorities not to give a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine to frontline health workers because such a move would mean that the ministry was admitting that the Sinovac vaccine was not effective.