The number of new COVID-19 infections continues to drop, but the health ministry is urging those at heightened risk of severe symptoms to get booster shots of the vaccine. Alternatively, vulnerable individuals may opt to receive long-acting antibody (LAAB) shots. This is especially true with elderly persons, who may be exposed to the virus during April’s Songkran period when many people return to their hometowns.
DDC Director-General Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong indicated the COVID-19 situation is improving. The numbers of new infections and hospitalized patients were declining in line with the general situation worldwide.
Nonetheless, concern was expressed about the Songkran holiday period at the meeting of health ministry executives on March 1. Those at the meeting feared the high numbers of travelers visiting their hometown or holidaying during the period could raise the infection numbers.
The health ministry is therefore calling on members of the ‘608 Group’ of persons at heightened risk of severe COVID symptoms to take precautions. Those taking care of their elderly relatives and operators of senior homes are urged to get seniors under their care vaccinated. They should make an effort to receive the appropriate number of booster shots, or in certain cases, receive the LAAB treatment. This would reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms or death.
Dr Tares said the new-generation bivalent vaccine doses from Pfizer delivered to the health ministry on February 20 are now being distributed to health facilities nationwide. He asserted the first and second generations of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as other Covid vaccines, are effective as booster doses. (NNT)
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