‘Make peace with Sinovac’ if Thais wants to get back to normal, official says

Thais will have to make peace with the use of the Sinovac vaccine if they want the country to return to normal, a public health official told Thai Enquirer on Tuesday.

Infection numbers fell below 10,000 cases for the first time in weeks on Tuesday as the country prepared for more relaxation of quarantine rules and the capital rushed towards a November 1 reopening.

The lowering numbers was in-part due to the inoculation efforts of the government and the use of a Sinovac + AstraZeneca cocktail, according to an official at the Ministry of Public Health.

“If we sat around and waited for ‘better’ vaccines then we wont reopen until the middle of next year,” the official said on condition of anonymity fearing public pushback.

“The reason the numbers are lower is because we have ready access to Sinovac and we are able to import them in large numbers.”

The acquisition of millions of doses of Sinovac vaccine by the Ministry of Public Health has been scrutinized and criticized by opposition parties and the Thai public. 

Many have questioned why Thailand sought to acquire a vaccine that was less effective at stopping infections and particularly vulnerable to the Delta Variant of the disease.

According to the public health officials, those fears need to be pushed aside as the government pushed for 70 per cent inoculation by the middle of October.

“I think we’re all a bit fatigued with quarantines and lockdowns and if we want to get past it we will have to get vaccinated with what we have now and get a booster later,” the official said.

“Sinovac lowers the death rate and goes some way towards preventing the spread of the disease. It is not perfect by far but it is something that we can do now. We have to make peace with the mistakes that were made along the way and work together to end this disease.”

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