Push for vaccination of Thailand’s young ahead of new school term
With the start of the new school term on May 17th, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stressed the need for precautionary measures today (Friday), to cope with on-site learning, with an emphasis placed on the inoculation of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students.
With consent from the children and their parents, those aged 5-11 who have not yet been vaccinated should get their first doses through their schools, while those aged 12-17 are urged to get their second or their booster shots, either through their schools or appropriate medical facilities.
According to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), about 50% of 5- to 11-year-olds have received their first dose of vaccine, but only 5.8% have received their second.
The figures are, however, much higher among 12- to 17-year-olds, with 89.9% having received their first doses and 81.1% their second. 1.6% have also had their booster shots.
Children under 5 are not yet required to be inoculated and the prime minister asked their parents to take good care of them, noting that most infections among young children are linked to their parents.
28 children in this age group, who were not vaccinated, have died of coronavirus infection, while 17 unvaccinated children aged 6-18 have died.
The CCSA also agreed that 12- to 17-year-olds can be given half a dose for their booster with the Pfizer vaccine, at least five months after they received their second dose, to reduce the risk of side effects, according to CCSA Spokesperson Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.