Thailand is studying the possibility of injecting coronavirus vaccines under the skin to try to stretch its limited supply, a health official said Thursday, as the country rushes to vaccinate the public more quickly amid a worsening epidemic.
“Our past experience shows that intradermal injections use 25% of a muscle injection, but produce the same level of immunity,” Supakit Sirilak, chief of medical science, told reporters.
Thailand has reported a record number of deaths in recent weeks among a total of nearly 1 million cases.
It has vaccinated 8.3% of its population of more than 66 million in a massive vaccination campaign that began in June amid a battle against the virulent Alpha and Delta COVID-19 strains.
But despite producing vaccines for AstraZeneca and ordering enough doses of different brands to cover the population, Thailand is struggling to get supplies fast enough.
It has even attempted to borrow vaccines from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, becoming the first country in the world last month to mix a Chinese coronavirus vaccine and a Western injection.
It uses the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine as a booster for its medical staff.
If his research confirms that intradermal injections are effective, regardless of brand, Thailand could vaccinate four to five times as many people with the same amount of vaccine, Supakit said.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters for comment about intradermal injections.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)