Thailand to speed up vaccine booster shots
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has decided to speed up the mass provision of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, to guard against the potentially serious symptoms of the Omicron variant.
CCSA Spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said today (Monday) that the variant has already spread to many countries and it has been reported that three doses of vaccine can help reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death.
In Thailand, he said that only 4.1 million people, or 5.5% of the population, have received three shots and 97 million doses of vaccines have been administered so far.
69.3% of the population, or 49.9 million people, have received one vaccine dose and 43.3 million, or 60.2%, have received two.
Dr. Taweesin said that the CCSA has set a target to have administered 100 million doses of vaccines by December 20th. The date has been postponed from the initial targets set for the end of November and then by December 5th. He added that 6.6 million doses will be administered in December alone, with 3.1 million as first jabs, 2.3 million as second jabs and 1.2 million as booster shots.
He explained that people can choose the available vaccines for their boosters.
People who were inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine for the first two shots can choose Pfizer or Moderna as their booster three months after their second jab, while those who have received two Pfizer or two Moderna doses can choose either of the two vaccines as their booster six months after their second shot.
Those who received mixed vaccines, such as Sinovac and AstraZeneca or Sinopharm and AstraZeneca, can choose AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna as their third shot, three months after the second shot.
People who have received Sinovac and Pfizer or Sinopharm and Pfizer can choose either Pfizer or Moderna for their booster shot, three months after their second jab, and those having received AstraZeneca and Pfizer as their first two jabs can choose either Pfizer or Moderna as their third shot, six months after their second jab.
Dr. Taweesin said the CCSA has a target to vaccinate at least 80% of the population next year and the unvaccinated can just walk in to vaccination facilities to get their shots free of charge. Children under 12 can get inoculated with the consent of their parents.