PHUKET: Medical staff at the Indoor Sports Stadium in Saphan Hin yesterday (September 24) started giving third-dose ‘booster’ injections using the subcutaneous method, injecting the vaccine just under the skin, instead of the intramuscular method, by injecting the vaccine into the muscle, as used previously.
The new method was used yesterday to deliver third-dose ‘booster’ injections of AstraZeneca to those who had already received two injections of the Sinovac vaccine in what is now the provincial government’s new policy for administering injections. reminder.
Phuket is the first province in the country to use the new method, after approval from the Ministry of Public Health.
The approval was granted following a study by doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital which showed that by using only 20% of the standard dose of AstraZeneca vaccine per injection, the vaccine just under the skin s ‘has been shown to be equally effective in boosting immunity against SARS-CoV-2. virus.
Announcing the results of this study on September 15, Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol, director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, as well as Dr Supalak Laongpetch and Dr Withita Jaeng-iam, initiators of the research project, explained that the study involved 242 volunteers aged 18 to 60. who had received two doses of Sinovac vaccine.
The results showed that the immunity of those who received the subcutaneous vaccination was on average slightly higher than that of those who received the conventional vaccination.
Those who received the subcutaneous vaccination had an average immune response of 17,662.3 AU / ml and those who received the conventional vaccination had an average immune response of 17,214.1 AU / m. 840 AU / ml).
Side effects from subcutaneous vaccinations were less common than with conventional injections, such as fever or headache, the researchers noted.
âThe subcutaneous injection causes more irritation and redness in the injected area, which is not worrying,â said Dr. Withita.
Doctors will vaccinate around 200,000 residents and people living on the island without a home registration, with the goal of completing the process by mid-October, Dr Withita said.
“When completed, said a second group consisting of migrants and foreign residents will be vaccinated,” she added.
The post-injection time is now also shorter, Dr Withita said yesterday.
âOnly 10 to 15 minutes of observation are needed after the jab, instead of the previous 30 minutes, because acute side effects, such as low temperature, exhaustion and headaches are less likely than in the conventional method. , with an equivalent strengthening of immunity, based on scientific research, âshe said.
The subcutaneous injection will allow doctors to administer about four times more vaccines than by the conventional method, speeding up the prevention of the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID virus, Dr Withita added.
Yesterday, according to the Phuket Provincial Public Health Bureau (PPHO), 66,383 people in Phuket received a third booster dose.
The PPHO also reports that 389,163 people in the province have received two immunization injections, while 426,387 have so far received only one immunization injection.