11 July 2024

The Thai Medical Sciences Department has predicted that, in less than two weeks, the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron variant will account for 100% of new COVID-19 infections in Thailand.

The department head, Dr. Supakit Sirilak, said today (Monday) that the department conducted a random diagnosis of COVID-19 infections last week and found that the BA.2 sub-variant accounted for 95.9% of new infections, with 4.1% being the BA.1 sub-variant, adding that no BA.3 sub-variant has been identified yet.

He dismissed, as unfounded, a report that BA.2 can evade the immune response generated by vaccines. He said, however, that two doses of vaccine are not enough, as immunity generated by the vaccines will steadily reduce. He recommended third booster jabs of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer for those who have received only two doses to date.

Citing information from the Disease Control Department, Dr. Supakit said the death toll for unvaccinated people is 767 per one million of the population, but the rate reduces to 366 per million for those who have received one vaccine dose, 145 per million for those who have received two doses and 25 per million for those who have received their booster jab.

He also said that there have, so far, not been any reports of death among those who have received four doses of vaccine.

A third, or booster jab, administered two weeks after the second dose will help reduce the risk of sickness from the BA.1 and BA.2 strains of Omicron variant, he added.