Thai govt extends free flu vaccinations for insured seniors

Image courtesy of Freepik/tirachardz

The Thai government urges individuals insured under Sections 33 and 39 of the Social Security Act who are 50 years old and above to receive free influenza vaccinations until December 31.

Karom Polpornklang, Deputy Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, reported that from January 1 to June 1, the number of influenza cases reached 139,326, with an incidence rate of 214.64 per 100,000 people.

The fatalities included five in Nakhon Ratchasima, two in Nakhon Si Thammarat, and one each in Chaiyaphum, Surat Thani, and Bangkok. The causes were attributed to Influenza A in nine cases and Influenza B in one case.

Comparing this to 2023, the number of cases is expected to rise starting in June, peaking between August and November, which is the flu season during the rainy period. The changing weather conditions and the onset of the rainy season contribute to the increased prevalence of influenza.

Karom stated that besides the seven high-risk groups, the government, through the Social Security Office of the Ministry of Labour, invites insured individuals under Sections 33 and 39 aged 50 and above to receive their annual flu vaccination for 2024.

The free vaccination service has been extended to December 31 to ensure that insured individuals can access flu vaccines at their designated healthcare facilities. It is advisable to schedule an appointment with the healthcare facility beforehand. People with chronic illnesses or a history of vaccine allergies should consult a doctor before getting vaccinated.

Flu vaccination is recommended annually as the influenza virus strains change each year. High-risk groups, in particular, should receive the vaccine annually before the flu season to reduce the severity of the illness and the risk of death from complications.

The government also urges the public to adhere strictly to disease prevention measures, emphasising the importance of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and washing hands frequently to prevent influenza, reported KhaoSod.

By taking these preventive steps, the government aims to mitigate the impact of influenza and safeguard public health, particularly among vulnerable populations.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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