COVID-19 vaccines update
Full coverage on COVID-19 vaccines reports.
May 12, 2021: ‘Vaccine hesitancy’ bites in Thailand – but one province has the antidote
At a time when Thailand is struggling to convince its citizens to sign up for free COVID-19 vaccination, Lampang has recorded remarkable success, getting all eligible residents to register for jabs. A total of 223,796 residents of the northern province have already booked COVID-19 shots, filling the slots reserved for at-risk people.
May 11, 2021: Beer, cash and credit: How other countries are using incentives to combat vaccine hesitancy
Though people across the globe are praying for the COVID-19 pandemic to end, many are still reluctant to get a jab to fight it. Doubts over the vaccines’ efficacy and safety linger in several places, including Thailand.
Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha, today (Tuesday) declared COVID-19 vaccination program Thailand’s national agenda as he urged Thai people to get vaccinated as many as possible, pointing out that vaccines are the key element which will usher Thailand through the crisis.
With some wealthy nations easing restrictions thanks to rapid inoculation drives but many others struggling to secure doses, the head of the World Health Organization slammed so-called “vaccine diplomacy” and called for cooperation without strings attached.
If you are over 60 years old, or if you have chronic respiratory disease, heart and blood vessel disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease or stroke, cancer, obesity or diabetes, and have registered for vaccination during June or July, here is what you should do before you are vaccinated, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s Facebook page.
Starting today (Tuesday), people who suffer from mental or developmental disorders, such as autism, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities and their family members who live in Bangkok and three other neighbouring provinces can register for COVID-19 inoculation online.
May 10, 2021: Explainer: Thailand’s vaccine plans and rollout timeline
About 1.3 million Thais have been vaccinated by the Thai government so far, with over 510 ,000 people having received both doses of either Sinovac’s CoronaVac or the AstraZeneca version , mainly the former .
More than half a million people in Bangkok are among 1.5 million Thais across the country who have registered to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Public Health. The top ten provinces for registration are: 1. Bangkok, 516,282 2. Lampang, 223,976 3. Nonthaburi, 51,113 4. Samut Prakan, 44,962 5.
Covid jab maker BioNTech said Monday it would build a Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site in Singapore to produce hundreds of millions of mRNA-based vaccines per year. Construction of the site will start this year, and it could become operational by 2023, the German company said in a statement.
A long line of people snaked across the sand of Miami Beach, Florida, as dozens of travelers from Latin America waited their turn at a pop-up coronavirus vaccination booth. Sweating under the Sunday afternoon sun, visitors checked into an online system, no proof of residence required, and soon after received a free, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a vaccination card.
May 8, 2021: Thailand orders an additional 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the procurement of 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from various sources, on top of the 100 million doses procured for this year, to make sure that everyone in the country is inoculated and that there are reserves left over for future use.
For Thais craving international travel while also wanting an anti-COVID-19 jab, a vaccination tour could be the answer. At least four Thai travel agencies are now arranging overseas trips featuring the much sought-after vaccine. The trips have attracted strong interest among wealthy Thais, but authorities have issued some cautionary advice for jab-hungry jet-setters.
May 7, 2021: COVID-19 vaccines, the hot topic for Anutin
“There is no challenge”, responded Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, when asked by Thai PBS World what he thinks is the most challenging factor in the latest wave of the COVID-19. Anutin has come under fire many times since the pandemic began in early 2020.
People aged 60 or over in Thailand now have the option of having the Chinese-made Sinovac, instead of just AstraZeneca’s vaccine, in a sudden change of policy by the National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC).
Pfizer has agreed to reserve 10-20 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine for Thailand, expected to be delivered in the third and fourth quarters of this year, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Friday).
Thailand ranks sixth among ASEAN’s 10 member countries for COVID-19 vaccination of their population, at 1.2%, with over 1.6 million doses being administered, according to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. More than 1.16 million vaccinations were the first dose, while the second jab account for over 434,000 doses to date.
May 6, 2021: Pfizer/BioNTech to supply vaccines for Olympic athletes
In a statement, the firms said they would coordinate with national sporting bodies to make sure that coronavirus vaccines are available to anyone who needs one before traveling to Japan. “Delivery of initial doses to participating delegations is expected to begin at the end of May where possible with the aim to ensure participating delegations receive second doses ahead of arrivals in Tokyo,” they said.
Thai tourism authorities have warned travel agents not to use the term “vaccine tour” in their advertisements, even though such tour programs are allowed, and urged them to list all the details of their tours for their customers’ information, to avoid misunderstandings.
May 5, 2021: A shot in the arm: foreign residents and their eligibility for a jab
Thailand’s foreign residents are often left scratching their heads at the confusing and sometimes apparently contradictory information on Covid-19 vaccines and their eligibility for a jab While many Thais are talking about their Covid-19 vaccine choices, if indeed there are any, and vaccination schedules, a large number of expats have been left clueless as to whether they have access to vaccines and is so, which, when and how.
Serbia’s president said on Wednesday his country would pay each citizen who gets a Covid jab before the end of May, in what could be the world’s first cash-for-jabs scheme. The Balkans country bought millions of doses, from Western firms as well as China and Russia, and briefly became a regional vaccine hub when it offered foreigners the chance to be inoculated.
May 3, 2021: Single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine could result in 96.7% immunity in 4 weeks
A study of 61 patients shows that people who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have achieved 96.7% immunity within a month, compared to those who had recovered from the disease for 1-2 months, who have 92.4% immunity.
April 30, 2021: Pfizer/BioNTech seek Covid jab approval for 12-15-year-olds in EU
Pfizer/BioNTech said Friday they have asked European regulators to authorize their Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, a move seen as a crucial step toward achieving herd immunity. The companies already filed a similar request with US authorities earlier this month. Their vaccine is currently only approved for use in people aged 16 and over.
April 29, 2021: Brazil begin to produce homemade COVID-19 vaccine
Butantan Biomedical Institute in Brazil announced that they began to produce their very own COVID-19 vaccines, ButanVac. While local media reported that the institution lacks regulatory approval to hold clinical trials. Butantan expects to produce 18 million doses by the end of this year, and Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria calling the news “significant news for Brazilian and global science,” according to local media.
April 25, 2021: Vaccine doses pass one billion mark as global cases top new record
The number of Covid-19 jabs administered globally surpassed the one billion mark on Saturday, offering hope even as the number of virus cases worldwide hit a new daily record mainly due to an explosion of infections in India. At least 1,002,938,540 vaccine doses have been administered in 207 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally.
April 24, 2021: China to provide one million doses of vaccine to Thailand
China has pledged to provide Thailand with up to one million doses of vaccines to speed up inoculation against the deadly virus here as the country is facing a new surge of the pandemic, according to a highly-placed source.
The combination of a new wave of COVID-19 and delayed vaccination is set to wreak more damage on Thailand’s economy, with people’s incomes falling further and business risks rising. Slow vaccination progress coupled with a surge of infections has prompted Kasikorn Research Centre to lower its growth projection for the Thai economy this year from 2.6 percent to 1.8 percent.
April 23, 2021: AstraZeneca vaccine benefits increase with age
The EU’s drug watchdog said Friday that a review of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine found its benefits increase with age and still outweigh the risks for adults despite links to blood clots.
April 22, 2021: Fake Pfizer vaccine shots on sale in Mexico and Poland
US drugmaker Pfizer confirmed that suspect doses of its coronavirus vaccine that were seized in Mexico and Poland were indeed fake, with doses going for as much as $1,000 a shot, according to US media.
April 21, 2021: COVID-19 inoculations in Thailand to continue amid blood clot fears
Thailand’s Department of Disease Control will still adhere to their COVID-19 vaccination plan, following reports of at least six people experiencing symptoms of partial paralysis after getting their first shots. Dr. Taweesap Siraprapasiri told a press conference on Wednesday that, currently, the inoculation program remains unchanged, saying such an adverse side effect was not unexpected.
Six people, who were inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine in Thailand’s eastern coastal province of Rayong, developed partial paralysis and had to be given medication to dissolve blood clots, said Dr. Thiravat Hemachudha, head of the Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre of Chulalongkorn University, in his Facebook post yesterday (Tuesday).
Activists celebrating the recent legalization of recreational pot in New York state handed out free doobies in Manhattan to anyone with proof they had received at least one vaccine shot. “This is the first time we can sit around and legally hand people joints,” said Michael O’Malley, one of the organizers of the “Joints for Jabs” giveaway in Union Square.
April 20, 2021: Blood clots should be listed as rare Johnson & Johnson side effect: EMA
Blood clots should be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine but its benefits still outweigh the risks, the EU’s drug watchdog said on Tuesday. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement that it had found a “possible link” between the jab and the clots, following eight such cases in the United States, one of which was fatal.
April 18, 2021: Thailand’s vaccine shopping list as COVID surges
As the number of new COVID-19 cases surges this month, the government is rushing to find more vaccines for Thais. On Friday (April 16), Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha took it upon himself to list the various vaccine brands Thailand is currently trying to procure.
April 16, 2021: China’s Coronavac 80% effective at preventing Covid deaths: Chile results
April 16, 2021 China’s Coronavac vaccine was 67 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 80 percent at preventing death, according to real-life results unveiled Friday from Chile’s inoculation campaign. “These figures should convey peace of mind to the country,” Health Minister Enrique Paris told journalists as he announced the outcome of two months of vaccination in Chile, in February and March.
CEO Albert Bourla also said annual vaccinations against the coronavirus may well be required. “We need to see what would be the sequence, and for how often we need to do that, that remains to be seen,” Bourla told CNBC in an interview recorded on April 1.
Thailand is ramping up its COVID-19 vaccination drive following an unprecedented surge in infections since April 5, with Thursday (April 15) bringing a record 24-hour high of 1,535 new cases. Official records show that only 247,850 people in Thailand had received their first jab as of April 5 – but that number more than doubled to 581,311 by April 15.
April 15, 2021: Public health minister says Thailand will continue with the use of AstraZeneca vaccine
Thailand will go ahead with its COVID-19 vaccination program using the AstraZeneca vaccine, because authorities have not found any rare, but significant and serious side effects among the vaccine’s recipients in Thailand, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Thursday).
April 13, 2021: US agencies recommend ‘pause’ in use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine over blood clot fears
US health authorities recommended a “pause” Tuesday in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” over potential links to a rare type of blood clot, in a blow to the country’s immunization campaign.
April 9, 2021
Thailand’s former public health minister, Clin.Prof. Emeritus Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn has been appointed head of an ad hoc panel to procure alternative brands of COVID-19 vaccines for the Thai people, besides AstraZeneca and Sinovac, after the CCSA has agreed to allow the private sector to participate in the procurement of an additional 10 million doses.
April 7, 2021
The University of Oxford said on Tuesday it had paused a small UK trial testing the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca Plc in children and teenagers, as it waits for more data on rare blood clotting issues in adults who received the shot.
March 31, 2021
Phase 3 trials carried out on 2,260 adolescents in the United States “demonstrated 100 percent efficacy and robust antibody responses”, the companies said in a statement.
March 29, 2021
Russia has agreed a deal for more than 60 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to be produced in China from May, the jab’s developer said on Monday. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has financed the development of the vaccine, said it and Shenzhen Yuanxing Gene-tech Co.
March 26, 2021
The Kremlin rejected Friday that Russia and China were using their vaccines as tools to win geopolitical clout, after accusations the two countries were using their jabs to gain influence abroad. Earlier Friday French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that his country was facing a “new kind of world war,” pointing to the two powers using their vaccines for “influence”.
March 26, 2021 The office of Prime MInister has ordered the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) to investigate the unregistered online entity that has been advertising the ability to reserve for COVID-19 vaccines in advance.
Vice Minister of Public Health, Dr. Sophon Mekthon, said Friday that the fatality was one of two vaccine recipients who had developed severe side effects, with the deceased having suffered from an aortic aneurysm prior to inoculation and the other developing urticaria (hives).
March 24, 2021
The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and Mahidol University’s Faculty of Tropical Medicine have developed and are about to start human trials of an inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccine. The participating volunteers must be in good health, have never been infected with COVID-19 and have no drug or vaccine allergies.
March 22, 2021
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection against sickness and eliminated hospitalizations and deaths from the disease across all age groups in a late-stage study in the United States, the company announced Monday. AstraZeneca said its experts did not identify any safety concerns related to the vaccine, including finding no increased risk of rare blood clots identified in Europe.
March 17, 2021
The World Health Organization said Wednesday its experts were still reviewing safety data on the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine following concerns around blood clots but recommended that injection programmes continue. While millions of doses of the vaccine have been administered, small numbers of people have developed blood clots, prompting countries including the EU’s three largest nations – Germany, France and Italy – to suspend injections.
March 16, 2021
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was inoculated this morning, the first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in Thailand, after postponement from last Friday. The government broadcast the inoculation via Facebook Live, narrated by a medical personnel, hoping to build confidence in the vaccine among the Thai public, the administration of which had been suspended in many countries due to reports of adverse side effects.
March 15, 2021
Here’s a recap: Nordic countries sound alarm Denmark is the first country on March 11 to say it will suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure over fears of blood clots in vaccinated people. Iceland and Norway follow the same day, temporarily suspending use of all their supply of the vaccine citing similar concerns.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s COVID-19 vaccination was again cancelled at last minute on Friday. The cancellation adds another twist to the already-dramatic story here of the COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed through AstraZeneca – Oxford University collaboration.
March 12, 2021
The World Health Organization said Friday there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after several European countries suspended the roll-out over blood clot fears. The WHO said its vaccines advisory committee was currently looking at safety data and stressed that no causal link had been established between the vaccine and clotting.
March 11, 2021
Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine offers more protection than earlier thought with effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease reaching 97 percent, according to real-world evidence published Thursday by the pharmaceutical companies. Using data from January 17 to March 6 from Israel’s national vaccination campaign, Pfizer/BioNTech found that prevention against asymptomatic disease also reached 94 percent.
March 4, 2021
The Thai Ministry of Labour will discuss, with the Social Security Board, the possibility of procuring COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate over 2.3 million migrant workers covered by the social security scheme.