Bangkok schools may reopen in November, 1,500 students given Pfizer on Tuesday
Bangkok’s schools may reopen in November, pending the speed of the vaccination rollout in schools, said Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang today (Tuesday), while students with underlying diseases will be the first to get inoculated, mainly with Pfizer vaccine.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) provided free vaccinations today to 1,500 students, aged between 12-18, who are afflicted with any of the seven underlying conditions and who have passed the screening conducted by Vajira Hospital.
The Pfizer vaccine being used was part of the 1.5 million doses donated by the United States and distributed by the Disease Control Department to the BMA. Of the 1,500 youngsters, 700 are to receive their first jab and the rest, who were given their first shot on August 27th, will receive their second.
The underlying conditions include chronic respiratory disease, heart and blood vessel disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease or stroke, cancer and low antibody levels, obesity and diabetes, as well as Down Syndrome and developmental issues.
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Vajira Hospital at Navamindradhiraj University Asst. Prof. Dr. Jakravoot Maneerit said today that the inoculation service is intended to protect this group of youngsters from developing severe symptoms if they are infected with COVID-19, particularly those who are overweight.
In the post-inoculation observation of the first group to be inoculated, he said that none had suffered serious side effects and most of those who had mild side effects suffered pain at the injection site adding, however, that the observation will continue for about a month post vaccination and the results will be recorded in the hospital’s database and reported to the Ministry of Public Health.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tiraporn Kanchanapan, a paediatrician and specialist in infectious diseases among children, of Faculty of Medicine of Vajira Hospital, urged parents to allow their children to be vaccinated, saying the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of side effects and provides more protection against hospitalisation in the case of infection.
Although undesirable side effects from mRNA vaccines are a main concern for parents, many allowed their children to be inoculated after being assured of the safety of the vaccines.
Regarding the resumption of in-person classes in Bangkok, Governor Aswin said that authorities will have to assess the results of the mass vaccinations first and will then consult with the Education and Public Health ministries, with final approval required from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
Meanwhile, the Chulabhorn Royal Academy are vaccinating over 100,000 students from 132 schools with China’s Sinopharm, to complement the government’s vaccine rollout for youths which still awaits the arrival of more Pfizer vaccines. The first lot – 2 million doses, out of 30 million ordered, is expected to reach Thailand next week.
The BMA is aiming to inoculate at least 700,000 students in Bangkok.