Thailand’s health minister has agreed to investigate why so many people have died from Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated with three vaccination shots.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced the probe following a national communicable disease committee meeting.
Approximately 7% of those infected who received three doses have died, while zero fatalities have been reported among those who received four doses. The majority of deaths have been reported among seniors and people with chronic illnesses.
Mr. Anutin also emphasized the importance of completing the full vaccine course and receiving booster doses for the high-risk 608 groups, including people over 60 years of age, those with underlying conditions, and pregnant women.
He said that people who received two doses last year must get booster doses to reduce the risk of death.
Students to be vaccinated
A discussion was also held regarding the Covid-19 measures in place for the reopening of schools nationwide for the start of the new school year on May 17.
To ensure the safety of on-site students, the public health and education ministries have updated their disease prevention measures. These ministries will also vaccinate more students.
Mr. Anutin said that 54% of children aged 5-11 had received the first dose, while 17% had received a second.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Covovax vaccine from India for children ages 12 and older. The vaccine had previously been approved for people over the age of 18 to be vaccinated.
He said the FDA also approved the use of the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 and older after previously approving it for children aged at least 12 years to be vaccinated.
The minister said the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) could produce its own antiviral Favipiravir pills.
Favipiravir pills are imported from the U.S. and cost 8,000 baht per course, much higher than the 13 baht price of the local Favipiravir pills.
There is also a reduction in the price of Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, from 1,200 to 200 baht per shot. The reason was that there were more drug supplies than there were demands, he said.
Molnupiravir will be available in private hospitals starting in 2014, according to Mr. Anutin. Currently, the pills are only registered as emergency medications.