Thailand’s health officials say flu shots available for 36% of ‘vulnerable’ people

Thailand’s health officials are calling on elderly people and other vulnerable groups to get free flu shots from government clinics. The country’s National Health Security Office considers 7 groups of people ‘vulnerable’. These include women over four months pregnant, children 6 months to 2 years old, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, people with asthma, people with heart disease, people with kidney problems, and people with cancer and diabetes.

The secretary-general of Thailand’s National Health Security Office said there 4.2 million flu doses are available, meaning enough for about 36% of the 11,555,000 people listed as being in one of the vulnerable groups. He urged people to get their shot soon. The vaccines will be offered until August 31. So far, about 61,400 vulnerable people have been vaccinated.

The provinces that have administered the most flu vaccines to date are Bangkok (21,932), Chon Buri (2,727), Nonthaburi (2,695), Suphan Buri (1,897) and Samut Prakan (1,754).

The shots are covered by the universal health scheme, and administered at local government clinics on a first-come, first-served basis. However, people in Bangkok can make an appointment for the vaccine through the Pao Tang app.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year across the globe. Thailand’s flu season usually coincides with its wet season between June and October. Around the world, it tends to coincide with cold seasons.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post | Johns Hopkins Medicine | Bumrungrand

Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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