Asia Thai FDA discovers gel in 110 Sinovac vials, informs healthcare workers not...

Thai FDA discovers gel in 110 Sinovac vials, informs healthcare workers not to use these if found

The clear gel was likely formed when the vaccines, which need to be kept at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, were not stored and/or transported properly.

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Thailand — A statement was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Thailand on Thursday (Jul 1) concerning a clear gel that had been found in 110 vials of the Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac.

The gel in the vaccine vials has left the doses faulty, and Dr Surachok Tangwiwat, the deputy secretary-general of the Thai FDA, has told healthcare workers who find such abnormalities to report them and to not give people vaccine shots from the vials where the gel is found.

China has sent more than ten million doses of Sinovac to Thailand, with millions more coming, according to Coconuts Thailand.

According to the FDA, the clear gels were found in a batch with the serial number C202105079. These were manufactured on May 10 in China and then shipped to Thailand. They will expire on November 9.

Dr Surachok said that the lumps of gel did not dissolve into the liquid in the vials even when the vials containing Sinovac were shaken, which is done by medical professionals before administering the doses.

The clear gel was likely formed when the vaccines, which need to be kept at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, were not stored and/or transported properly.

In its statement, Thailand’s FDA underlined the importance of storing the vaccines properly in order to ensure that they remain effective.

The FDA also said that none of the 110 faulty vials was administered to individuals. 

Sinovac vaccines have been said to have an effectivity rate between 71 per cent and 91 per cent against the Alpha variant of the Covid-19 infection, according to Thailand’s Public Health Ministry. 

But it’s efficacy against the highly contagious Delta variant that swept across India is under question. According to a Jun 25 Reuters report, antibodies produced due to two Chinese vaccines have been shown to be less effective against the Delta variant in comparison to other strains, although they still provide a measure of protection.

The Reuters report did not mention the names of the Chinese vaccines, although these are widely understood to refer to Sinovac and Sinopharm, both of which have been distributed in the millions to different countries all over the world. 

In Singapore, people have been lining up for hours—sometimes even sleeping in the streets overnight—to book appointments for Sinovac vaccine shots.

However coveted these jabs are, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has said that those who have received the Sinovac shots, as well as other vaccines that are not part of Singapore’s national vaccine program, still need to be subjected to pre-event testing, unlike those who received the mRNA vaccine shots from Pfizer and Moderna.

According to MOH, “From the public health point of view, individuals vaccinated with vaccines other than those in our Covid-19 national vaccination programme will still have to undergo pre-event testing.” /TISG

Read related: S’poreans endure queues to get Sinovac shots, but still need to be tested before attending events

S’poreans endure queues to get Sinovac shots, but still need to be tested before attending events

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