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

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

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

The recommendation for cross-vaccination in adolescents was made by the Department of Disease Control (DDC) Subcommittee on Promoting Immunity to Diseases, reports the state news agency NNT.

Dr. Vichan Pawun, chief of the Office of General Communicable Diseases at DDC, said the approach was based on findings from Chulalongkorn University School of Medicine. The researchers found that adolescent immunity against COVID-19 is boosted just as effectively by the crossover vaccine formula, compared to two injections of the Pfizer vaccine. The subcommittee recommends the use of 0.5ml of the Sinovac jab and 0.3ml of the Pfizer jab for the cross-vaccination approach. Dr. Vichan said the use of this formula for children ages 6 to 11 will require subcommittee approval.

The bureau director noted that COVID infections among children have been on the rise, especially in the 5-11 age group, which currently accounts for 6% of new infections. The Ministry of Public Health is now accelerating vaccinations for children to prevent them from transmitting the coronavirus to elderly people at home. Dr Vichan added that vaccinating children will also benefit schools that resume classes there.

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