Thais urged to register for free flu vaccines amid low uptake

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A new initiative by the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the Ministry of Public Health is encouraging Thai citizens to register for a flu vaccine, which will be available for free until the end of August. The programme aims to curb the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases.

NHSO secretary-general Jadet Thamatthat-aree announced that free flu shots will be provided to all Thai citizens, regardless of their health insurance scheme. Previously, only those subscribed to a health insurance programme managed by the NHSO were eligible for free flu vaccinations, reports Bangkok Post.

As of this week, 292,615 people have received their flu shots, which accounts for only 10% of the government’s target, according to Jadet.

The NHSO states that women over four months pregnant, toddlers aged between six months to two years, senior citizens, and individuals living with chronic diseases, obesity and/or disability can register for a free vaccine at their nearest participating clinic, reported Bangkok Post.

Last month, the NHSO revealed 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.”

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. Read more about this HERE.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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