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Campaign to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated starts

Jack Arthur

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PHOTO: 宸胤 谢/Flickr

Thailand is increasing its efforts to vaccinate pregnant women. They have recently kicked off a campaign to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated. From yesterday until October 13, the Ministry of Public Health plans to vaccinate as many as 100,000 pregnant women, says Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha.

Sathit says that pregnant women are inherently vulnerable as they are likely to develop severe symptoms, which lead to death or cause premature birth, an outcome that could have long-term effects on the development of the child. Thai PBS says high medical bills could also be a result for un-vaccinated pregnant women. A survey of Covid infections among pregnant women suggested that 6 weeks after giving birth in the time since April 1 of this year, over 3 thousand women were found to have Covid, 73 women died, and 154 newborns were found to have contracted Covid.

Health Department Director General Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai says that not enough pregnant women have been vaccinated. The doctor attributes the small number to concerns about the effectiveness or safety of the vaccines. Dr Suwanchai says this is why the campaign has been started to urge pregnant women to get vaccinated and minimise the chance women will develop a severe illness or die from Covid.

Dr Suwanchai went on to say that vaccines will help boost the immunity for unborn babies. He says that women who are over 12 weeks pregnant can contact their closest hospital for a free vaccine until October 13. From August 29 to September 9, almost 70 thousand women have been vaccinated. This number includes about 54 thousand who got their first dose, about 15 thousand who have had their second dose, and 179 who got a 3rd dose.

At the beginning of the month, there was a reported increase in the number of pregnant women who died from Covid. Back in August, figures indicated that Covid related deaths in Thailand are 2.5 times higher in pregnant women.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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