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Phuket begins new subdermal injection method for vaccines

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket debuts the new subdermal injection method for Covid-19 vaccines. (via Wikimedia)

Phuket has become the first province in Thailand to implement a new injection method of administering a third Covid-19 booster vaccine under the skin instead of into the muscle. Staff at the Indoor Sports Stadium at Saphan Hin began using the new vaccination method for the first time yesterday.

The Ministry of Public Health recently approved the new method following a study by staff at Vachira Phuket Hospital that showed an AstraZeneca booster was just as effective as the standard method when injecting only 20% of a normal dose just under the skin.

Until now, all vaccinations in Thailand has been done intramuscularly, but the new method using a subdermal injection – purring the needle only into the skin – saves a significant amount of AstraZeneca doses. The study results were released on September 15 and had tested 242 volunteers who had received 2 Sinovac vaccines previously and were between the ages of 18 and 60.

Results were actually slightly more effective for those who received an under-the-skin injection versus the conventional vaccination method. The test found subdermal injection protected better against Covid-19 and came with fewer side effects like headache or fever.

Also, the new vaccination method requires only 10 to 15 minutes of post-injection observation instead of the 30-minute wait that traditional injection required. The method did however cause more skin irritation and redness.

Doctors are lauding this new injection method that allows them to administer 4 times more vaccines which enables the vaccination process to be sped up. 200,000 residents and people living in Phuket will receive the first round of subdermal vaccines, followed by a second round for foreign residents and migrant workers.

The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released vaccination figures yesterday that showed 426,387 people have received one vaccine dose while 389,163 people have been fully vaccinated with 2 injections. 66,383 people in Phuket have gotten the booster third vaccine shot so far.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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