Thai virologist calls for young children to be protected as under 5s die of Covid-19

PHOTO: UNICEF Thailand/2021/Bundit Chotesuwan

A leading Thai virologist is calling on parents to protect children under the age of 5 from contracting Covid-19, as there is no vaccine to protect them. According to a Thai PBS World report, Dr Yong Poovorawan from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, so far this year, 51 children have died of Covid-19, 39 of whom were under the age of 5. Of those, 19 had some underlying health conditions while the others were healthy.

Yong says that while there are currently no Covid-19 vaccines for children under the age of 5 (under Thai public health regulations), the deaths of young, healthy children is unacceptable and can often happen quite quickly.

While most children are less likely to have severe Covid-19 symptoms, compared to adults or the elderly, Yong says it’s vital to pay attention to the very young. According to the virologist, China has opted to inoculate children over the age of 3 with the inactivated Sinovac vaccine. But in Thailand, a decision on vaccinating children under the age of 5 would involve several agencies.

To date, over 56 million people in Thailand, out of a population of around 69 million, have had their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. 51 million people have had 2 doses, while 25.5 million have received a booster dose.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Maya Taylor

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