NHSO seeks funds for additional flu vaccine doses amid rising Covid-19 cases
The National Health Security Office (NHSO) plans to purchase an additional 860,000 influenza vaccine doses, increasing the stockpile to 5.26 million doses to protect vulnerable groups.
To expand people’s access to the vaccine, the NHSO is requesting a budget of 105.2 million baht for the supplementary 860,000 doses, according to Secretary-General Jadet Thammathat-aree. Referring to individuals over 60 years old and those with eight underlying health conditions, he said…
“The demand for flu vaccines among the at-risk ‘608’ group is higher than for other groups, following the rise in Covid-19 cases after the Songkran Festival and heightened public awareness of influenza immunisation.”
A service fee of 20 baht per person will be charged for those receiving a flu shot.
The NHSO is also preparing to administer Covid vaccinations alongside the influenza vaccine, particularly for the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.
Anutin Charnvirakul, the interim Minister of Public Health, pointed out that the daily Covid caseload is rising as Thailand enters the rainy season, which coincides with flu season.
On April 20, the Ministry of Public Health advised people, especially those in the ‘608’ groups and pregnant women, to get a Covid booster shot as well as an influenza vaccine to prevent severe symptoms.
Charnvirakul also mentioned that the ministry is trying to maximise the vaccination budget to obtain more flu vaccine doses.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is offering free Covid booster shots at the ICS Lifestyle Complex opposite the Iconsiam shopping centre.
Deputy Bangkok Governor Thavida Kamolvech reported on Wednesday that the city has recently witnessed an average of 1,000 daily Covid infections, 10 times the daily average recorded in late March.
As the new school term is set to begin around mid-month, there is a risk of Covid caseloads increasing even further, Kamolvech warned.
The ICS vaccination centre, which opened on May 1, can accommodate 400 to 500 individuals daily and offers the new-generation Moderna bivalent booster shots for those who are fully vaccinated.
Thai citizens aged 12 and older need to present an ID card, while foreigners must show their passport or other official documentation to receive a vaccine. The jab is free for Thai nationals, while foreign nationals are charged 1,380 baht per person.
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