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Government shifts focus in vaccine rollout after rise of elderly Covid patient deaths

Caitlin Ashworth

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Photo via Facebook/กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์

With the rise of Covid-related deaths involving elderly patients, the Thai government has revised its plan for the next stages of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign to focus first on those in Bangkok who are at a high risk of severe infection if they contract the coronavirus.

Those who are at least 60 years old or who have certain underlying health conditions are given priority in the next phases of the vaccination campaign. The change in priority groups is a “slight refocus” after the rise of deaths, particularly those who are over 60 years old, as well as the rise of infections and deaths involving the rapid-spreading Delta variant, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the daily CCSA report in English.

Covid-related deaths hit a record high last week with 61 fatalities. 57 more deaths were confirmed today. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has recorded 2,333 deaths. The latest wave has accounted for more than 2,000.

The new goal is to inoculate 70% of the at-risk groups. The government plans to hit that target in Bangkok within the next 2 weeks, in the surrounding provinces by the end of the month, and nationwide by the end of August.

Foreign residents who are at least 60 year old, or who have certain underlying health conditions, are eligible for a vaccine under the nationwide campaign and are included in the at-risk priority groups, according to Natapanu.

Bangkok remains the epicentre of infections in the latest wave with more than 80,000 infections reported since April 1. Natapanu says at-risk groups in the capital will be inoculated next.

“Within 2 weeks, we hope that over 70% of this group will be inoculated. The high-risk groups living elsewhere in the country will also receive the vaccine within the month of August.”

More than 11 million doses of the Covid-19 have been administered since the Thai government started its immunisation campaign on February 28. So far, 3 million people in Thailand have received both doses of the vaccine.

Foreign residents in Bangkok can go to Thailandintervac.com for information on how to pre-register for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Government shifts focus in vaccine rollout after rise of elderly Covid patient deaths | News by Thaiger

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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