12 July 2024

Thailand’s Disease Control Department (DCD) is in the process of obtaining information from Oxford University’s lab study, which shows that a three-dose course of AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong, head of the DCD, said today (Friday) that Oxford University’s report will be studied by the immune enhancement committee, which comprises vaccine experts, to determine whether Thailand’s vaccination regimen should be adjusted to three AstraZeneca doses, instead of two, and a booster of Pfizer.

Findings by Oxford University, which are yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, match those from rivals Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have also found a third dose of their vaccines work against Omicron.

The study on the AstraZeneca vaccine Vaxzevria showed that, three doses produced neutralizing levels against Omicron which are broadly similar to those against the Delta variant after two doses.

Dr. Opart said that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, at the recent meeting of the National Communicable Disease Committee, instructed the committee to follow up on the Oxford University study.

The Thai government plans to procure 120 million doses of vaccines next year, half of which or 60 million doses will be AstraZeneca’s new generation vaccine, which is effective against coronavirus mutations.

The AstraZeneca vaccines are to be supplied by Siam Bioscience, a wholly-owned Thai company founded by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which produces the vaccines, with technology from UK-based AstraZeneca, for distribution to countries in Asia.