Government ramping up vaccination of the elderly ahead of Songkran holiday

PHOTO: Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration

Health authorities in Thailand are accelerating the Covid-19 vaccine rollout for the elderly population ahead of the Songkran holiday in April. Sumanee Wacharasin from the CCSA says the government wants to ensure people over the age of 60 receive a booster dose to maintain high immunity.

The move comes as many people plan to return home, reuniting with elderly relatives over the New Year holiday period. According to a Bangkok Post report, the vaccination drive for the elderly will be rolled out this month. Sumanee says that between March 21 and 31, the plan is to vaccinate 70% of the elderly population.

“The communicable disease committees in all provinces have to map out a proactive plan to check people who have yet to receive a booster shot and ask them to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Recent data from the Public Health Ministry shows that just 31% of Thailand’s elderly population has received a third, or booster, dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Officials are anxious to prevent any more deaths in the elderly, with concerns raised over potential contact with infected family members over the holiday.

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Since the outbreak of the milder but highly-contagious Omicron variant, the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths have been among the elderly. Yesterday, 73% of the 74 deaths reported were patients over the age of 60. The health ministry says that getting at least 2 vaccine doses significantly reduces the risk of severe illness or death among the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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