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Vaccines and strategies are under scrutiny as Delta Air Lines drives COVID surge | Coronavirus pandemic news

The Ministry of Health of Malaysia announced that once the supply ends, it will stop using the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China Kexing, while other Southeast Asian countries have stated that they are seeking to mix and match vaccines made in China with vaccines made by Western manufacturers. There has been a surge in cases driven by the highly disseminated Delta variant.

Malaysian Health Minister Adham Baba announced on Thursday that about half of its 16 million doses of Xenoxin have been distributed, and the rest will be used to pay for the second dose.

The country will subsequently use the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, which has received about 45 million doses of vaccine.

Malaysia’s decision to use Sinovac’s inactivated virus vaccine comes at a time when there are doubts about the vaccine’s efficacy against the new coronavirus and more infectious variants.The country reported a record 13,215 cases and 110 deaths on Thursday, despite Long-term lockdown, And has been strengthening its vaccination program to control the epidemic.

Kexing and another Chinese-made vaccine, Sinopharm, have obtained emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization (WHO). Sinopharm is also included in the inactivated virus vaccine category.

Malaysia has also approved AstraZeneca injections and announced on Friday that the Drug Enforcement Administration has approved the use of Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm.

In neighboring Thailand, the government said this week that people who have already received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca to increase protection.

Thailand is the first country to publicly announce plans to mix and match vaccines produced in China with vaccines developed by Western manufacturers.

Governments around the world are being forced to consider new methods, as Delta variants-which are considered more contagious and spread to others more quickly-are exploding in their populations. Some people are reviewing vaccine options and reducing the length of time between doses to ensure that the highest level of protection is reached as quickly as possible.

The mixed vaccine program has been tested in Canada and other countries before. A study published on June 28 by the University of Oxford also stated that injection of Pfizer’s vaccine after the initial dose of AstraZeneca produces more antibodies.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning on July 12, calling it a “dangerous trend” because of the scarce data on its health effects, and the European Medicines Regulatory Agency stated on July 14, There is no clear recommendation regarding switching doses.

‘Booster shooting’

In Indonesia, it is working with Southeast Asia’s The most serious After the coronavirus outbreak, the government has indicated that it is considering a booster shot for those who have already received two doses of Koxing vaccine.

Indonesia is the late-stage test site of Kexing. Its immunization program relies heavily on vaccines made in China, but in this country of 270 million people, cases continue to surge.

At the same time, according to the Philippine News Agency, after delivering 1 million doses on Wednesday, the Philippines has now received about 13 million doses of Coxing vaccine. The country is expected to receive 1.5 million doses of Konok vaccine on Saturday; the government’s total order this year is 26 million.

On Friday, the health department confirmed at least 11 locally transmitted COVID-19 Delta variants, of which at least one person died.

Health officials emphasized that all COVID-19 vaccines are effective and said that “the best vaccine is the vaccine available”.

Philippine Food and Drug Administration Director Eric Domingo said in an interview with the Manila News Channel that “in theory” there is no harm in mixing China’s Kexing with other brands. But because this practice has not been fully studied, the government cannot approve it.

He said that scientists in the country are still conducting a study on how to use Sinovac as the first dose and other brands as the second dose or booster injection.

With the emergence of new variants, vaccines made in the West are also facing challenges.

Last week, the Israeli Ministry of Health stated that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine against symptomatic COVID-19 infection has fallen from 97% in May to 64% recently-indicating that a booster vaccine may be needed. Pfizer itself has been lobbying for intensified injections in the United States.

At the same time, Canadian researchers said that Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine is 87% protective against symptomatic infections caused by Delta variants.

“No vaccine is perfect. A high enough dose of the virus can overcome the vaccine-induced defenses and cause infection, although in most cases, vaccine-induced immunity will limit the severity of the disease,” said Georgetown University Global Center. Said virologist Angela Rasmussen. Health Science and Safety, wrote in a post on the Delta variant on Twitter. “All of this shows that we can control the delta through existing interventions.”

“Alternative Strategy”

Singapore has managed to contain the virus to a large extent, but is now battling an outbreak in karaoke halls, and it uses Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in its national immunization program.

Sinovac has been provided privately, but the Health and Science Administration (HSA) has asked the company to provide more data to assess its wider use. According to The Straits Times, the company provided this information earlier this month, but it will take at least four weeks for HSA to make a decision.

At the same time, those who chose the Sinovac vaccine have been excluded from the country’s official vaccine count.

Health Minister Wang Yikang told the media last week: “We currently have no real medical or scientific basis, and no data to determine the effectiveness of Kexing on Delta’s infections and serious diseases.”

At the same time, in Hong Kong, where the epidemic has also been effectively controlled, the government used Pfizer and Kexing lenses. Now, about a quarter of the city’s population has been vaccinated.

A study published by researchers from the University of Hong Kong on Friday found that “alternative strategies” may be needed for those given to Konoshine. A study published in the journal “The Lancet Microbiology” found that healthcare workers treated with Pfizer had 10 times more antibodies than healthcare workers treated with Sanovac.

“The differences in the concentration of neutralizing antibodies found in our research may translate into significant differences in vaccine effectiveness,” the researchers said.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Benjamin Coulin, the report’s chief epidemiologist, emphasized that even a moderate level of protection is better than nothing, and urged people to get vaccinated.

“Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good people,” he told the newspaper.

As the Delta variant becomes dominant, not only in Asia, governments are reviewing their vaccine strategies to protect the population and protect the results achieved through rapid vaccination programs.

The United Arab Emirates, which initially used Sinopharm injections, announced that it has used Pfizer vaccine as a booster.

A health worker prepares a bottle of China Huaxing vaccine in a vaccination center converted from a movie theater in Metro Manila, Philippines [File: Ted Aljibe/AFP]

The government stated that it can provide different vaccines as booster shots, but this is at the discretion of the recipient, and health professionals will not make recommendations for any brand.

Bahrain also announced in June that eligible candidates can receive booster shots of Pfizer or Sinopharm, regardless of which vaccine they initially received.

The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lotay Tshering, also announced on June 24 that he is satisfied with mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccine doses in order to immunize approximately 700,000 people in this small Himalayan country. Over 63% of the country’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, including 93% of the eligible adult population.

Bhutan received 550,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from India in January and March. This month, it received the first batch of 500,000 Moderna vaccines from the United States. It also received 350,000 AstraZeneca injections from Denmark, Croatia and Bulgaria and 50,000 Sinopharm injections from China.

China itself is also conducting an early trial of CanSinoBIO’s mixed vaccination with a single dose, followed by a dose of vaccine provided by a unit of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products.

According to reports, researchers are still experimenting, using a dose of CanSinoBIO injection as a booster for people who have received one or two doses of the inactivated vaccine.

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