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Thailand Reports Over Half of Children Killed By Omicron Under 5 Years Old

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Newly released data from Thailand’s hospitals show that more than half of children killed by the Omicron Covid-19 Coronavirus were under the age of five.

Hospitals are now making special preparations for more covid-19 vaccinations prior to the start of the school year next month.

Ratchada Thanadirek, a government spokesman, said on Saturday (April 23) that the Omicron variant is to blame for the surge in childhood Covid-19 infections.

The majority of children who died from Covid-19 in January were under five years old – too young to be vaccinated. Parents are being urged to get their children vaccinated, and public hospitals are being instructed to start special treatment programs for infected children once the school year begins.

In the event of a rapid rise in the number of severely ill children, the hospitals have been ordered to arrange beds, medical staff, and a transfer system.

Additionally, the government is speeding up vaccinations for children aged five to 11 at schools.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry’s Immunity Promotion Subcommittee is proposing to boost fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 with a full or half dose of the Pfizer vaccine after an interval of four to six months.

From May 9, half doses of the vaccine will be administered at school vaccination points, followed by another half dose at local hospitals after the appropriate interval.

Dr. Thira Worathanarat, a Chulalongkorn University lecturer, said in a Facebook post that Thailand has had the eighth-highest number of Covid-19 deaths worldwide since the outbreak began.

Spike in Omicron Related Deaths

Thailand has seen a spike in Covid-19 deaths this week following Songkran, or the Thai New Year, he said.

Despite a 19 percent drop in new infections this week, the number of Covid-19 deaths increased by 22 percent from a week earlier, he said, urging people to stay vigilant and protect themselves.

In his opinion, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will continue to spread and mutate into more subvariants. In the meantime, though, the symptoms shouldn’t worsen as more efficient vaccines and medicines become available, he said.

Dr. Thira said he was waiting for a study on whether the Omicron variant poses a higher risk of long-Covid than the other variants.

On Saturday, Thailand reported 20,052 new Covid-19 infections and 129 deaths.

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