(CTN News) – Thai doctors have warned people not to underestimate COVID-19 Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants and recommended additional booster shots to ease serious consequences of infection.
According to Siriraj Hospital’s Faculty of Medicine Dean Dr. Prasit Watanapa, there is no clear evidence that Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants cause more serious symptoms, but there are reports that they transmit faster and are replacing Omicron BA.2.
Booster shots could protect people from infection by the new sub-variants, he said, advising those who have received three vaccine doses to receive a fourth shot and frontline medical staff to receive a fifth shot.
Similarly, Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr.Kiattibhoom Vongrachit said that in the United States and Britain, the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants are spreading 1.3-1.4 times faster than the Omicron BA.2 sub-variant. However, no such reports have been reported in European countries.
In Thailand, no reports have been made of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants causing more serious symptoms.
He noted that Thailand is steadily improving with fewer infections, serious cases, and deaths as the country enters the COVID post-pandemic era.
So far, nearly 140 million doses of vaccines have been administered in Thailand, with 60 million people receiving at least their first dose.
Vaccination of children aged six months to five years has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Thai Food and Drug Administration secretary-general, Dr. Paisarn Dunkum, said that both Pfizer and Moderna have yet to apply for registration of their vaccines for administration to young children. He noted that younger children will require a smaller amount of vaccine than older children.
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