Guide to getting ready for your COVID-19 jab

Today (June 7) marks the first day of the government’s long-planned nationwide COVID-19 vaccination rollout for priority groups: the elderly and people with seven underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus.

But even if you have already booked your vaccination appointment, you are advised to recheck your reservation. The limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine means there is a possibility that your booking may be cancelled or postponed.

Current stocks of vaccine will last just seven days in most provinces, and probably just three days in provinces with high bookings, like Lampang, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutacha revealed on Sunday.

Here are some guidelines on what to do before getting your jab.

Keep abreast of updates

Closely follow news and updates on the social-media page of the hospital where you are booked to get your shot. The updates should let you know if your vaccination booking is still confirmed. COVID-19 vaccination plans have been often revised in the past, so it is best to stay tuned.

The government on June 4 received 1.8 million doses of locally-made AstraZeneca vaccine, which are now being delivered to hospitals across the country.

So far, more than 8.1 million people have already reserved their vaccination via the government’s nationwide rollout for priority groups. Initially, they were told they would get the AstraZeneca jab. Sathit, however, now suggests that the Sinovac vaccine will also be used to support the rollout. To date, Thailand has imported 6.5 million Sinovac doses – including 1,000,000 donated by the Chinese government.

Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai has announced it will inject recipients aged over 60 with AstraZeneca and those younger with Sinovac vaccine. Rangsit University, meanwhile, announced on Sunday that people due to get their jabs on June 7 would get AstraZeneca vaccine while those scheduled for shots between June 8and 12 would get Sinovac. Those who insist on getting the AstraZeneca vaccine will have to wait for a new appointment.

Preparing for your shot

If you have any underlying health conditions and/or take regular medication, consult your doctor first. If you get the green light, make sure you get enough rest and avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea in the hours leading up to your vaccination. You should also refrain from heavy exercise for several days before receiving your jab. If you feel sick or have a fever, postpone your appointment by a week or two.

On the day of your appointment, make sure you carry your national ID card and evidence of booking (if any) to show at the vaccination site. Wear clothes that make it easy to expose your upper arm for the jab. At the vaccination site, wear a face mask at all times. It is best to get the injection in your non-dominant arm.

Post-vaccination tips

After getting your shot, avoid exercising hard for a few days. If you develop a fever or pains and aches, take a 500mg paracetamol tablet. If symptoms linger, take another tablet six hours later. You must not use NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Arcoxia and Celebrex, which can worsen symptoms.

Monitor your health for 48 to 72 hours after your jab. If you develop partial numbness, weak limbs, or twisting of facial features such as lip, see a doctor immediately.

The government has promised compensation for serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. The compensation totals Bt240,000 for anyone who suffers disability or organ loss, rising to Bt400,000 in the event of death. The cost of medical treatment for side effects is also covered up to Bt100,000.

Compensation can be claimed by filing an application at the vaccinating hospital, a provincial public health office or any branch of the National Health Security Office (NHSO). For applications that pass screening by a local committee, payment will be made within five days.

As of June 5, Thailand had administered 4.19 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. During the past three weeks, at least 344 people have applied for side-effect compensation, of which 239 have already been approved.

By Thai PBS World’s General Desk


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