23 May 2024

Elderly people who are reluctant to receive a third vaccine booster shot, out of concerns for possible side effects, will be given the option of half a dose, to encourage them to get their booster and reduce of the risk of severe symptoms or death if infected with COVID-19, said Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vongrachit today (Tuesday).

Of the 70 deaths recorded today, Dr. Kiattibhoom said that 47 were over 70 and 52 were not fully inoculated. 83% of those over 60 had received their first dose of vaccine, 78.8% had received their second dose, but only 32% had received the third booster shot.

He stressed the need for a campaign to convince the elderly to get their boosters before the Songkran holidays in mid-April, to reduce their risk of infection by their young relatives, who will visit them during the festival.

He advised people who plan to visit their ageing relatives to ensure they are free of the virus, avoid crowded places for a week before their planned visit and self-administer rapid antigen tests.

Dr. Kiattibhoom also said that the Ministry of Public Health is planning to reduce the hospital admission period for COVID-19 patients, from ten to seven days, plus three days in home isolation, as doctors now know a lot more about the disease.