Politics

Health ministry to add Sinovac-Pfizer cross-vaccine option for children aged 12-17


Health ministry to add Sinovac-Pfizer cross-vaccine option for children aged 12-17

BANGKOK: A cross-vaccination approach using the Sinovac and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines is now being developed as an option for recipients aged 12-17. The move comes in response to findings that this approach heightens immunity as effectively as two doses of only the Pfizer vaccine.

Cross-vaccination with Sinovac and Pfizer is as effective as two doses of Pfizer, Dr Vichan Pawun said. Photo: NNT

The recommendation for cross-vaccination in teens was made by the Department of Disease Control’s (DDC) subcommittee on promoting disease immunity, reports state news agency NNT.

Dr Vichan Pawun, head of the Bureau of General Communicable Diseases at the DDC, said the approach was based on findings by Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine. Researchers found that teenage immunity against COVID-19 is boosted just as effectively by the cross-vaccine formula, compared to two shots of the Pfizer vaccine. The subcommittee is recommending the use of 0.5 ml of the Sinovac jab and 0.3 ml of the Pfizer jab for the cross-vaccination approach. Dr Vichan said the use of this formula for children aged 6-11 will require the subcommittee’s approval.

The bureau director noted that COVID infections among children have been rising, especially in the 5-11 age group which currently makes up 6% of new infections. The Ministry of Public Health is now accelerating vaccinations in children to prevent them from spreading the coronavirus to elderly people at home. Dr Vichan added that getting children inoculated will also benefit schools that are resuming on-site classes.

According to the director, 66,165 children in the 5-11 age group received COVID shots from January 31 to February 8. There have so far been no reports of serious side effects. He added that vaccinations for children are subject to parental approval, and parents can consult doctors before making their decision.





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