Thailand’s health department anticipates a 5% increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations during the winter, as school re-openings and holiday festivities facilitate virus transmission.
Infections requiring hospitalization averaged 394 cases per day, an increase of about 5% from three weeks earlier, according to Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, from Thailand’s Department of Disease Control.
“The increase in infections is due in part to a slowing of new vaccinations against Covid-19 among Thai people, resulting in a decrease in immunities,” Opas explained. “When combined with other year-end activities, the result is an increase in infections.”
According to government data, Thailand had an 82% vaccine coverage ratio for one dose, 77% for two shots, and 46% for a third injection as of September 29. The Ministry of Public Health recommends immunizing children aged six months to four years old against the virus.
Thailand downgraded Covid-19 from a “dangerous” infectious disease to one that “needs monitoring” at the beginning of October, citing health-system readiness, treatment availability, and appropriate self-protection behaviour of people across the country.
Health Department to acquire more covid19 vaccine
Meanwhile, Thailand’s health ministry intends to acquire enough Covid-19 vaccines next year to cover 18 million people, especially in high-risk groups, with the number of shots required determined by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Thailand’s National Vaccine Committee has approved in principle the acquisition of covid-19 vaccines for three groups of people on Thursday, according to Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong.
They include the elderly and those with underlying issues, medical personnel and others who have come into contact with potential Covid cases, and village-based health volunteers.
“The groups total about 18 million people.” If given one dose per year, they will require 18 million doses. If they require two doses, 36 million will be obtained,” Dr. Opas stated.
He said that the number of covid-19 vaccine doses have yet to be determined, pending the release of academic information from organizations such as the WHO over the best way to protect against new strains of the coronavirus.
“The World Health Organization hasn’t recommended the number of vaccine doses and their administration due to a lack of academic data,” he explained.
According to Dr. Opas, newly launched vaccines are not significantly different from older products but are significantly more expensive.
According to him, the covid-19 vaccine committee is waiting for useful data to ensure that future vaccine purchases are the most cost-effective.
“How many more vaccine doses will be obtained depends on that information,” he explained. “The disease is no longer a potentially lethal communicable disease.” Things are returning to normal, and so will budget spending.”
143 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
In addition, the committee agreed to allow local administrative organizations to procure Covid vaccines on their own, but all parties must work together to avoid duplicate budget spending, according to Dr. Opas.
He said when the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration purchased Covid-19 vaccines directly it set a proper example as a local administrative organization that increased spending on health promotion.
According to Dr. Opas, 143 million Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in Thailand last year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of November 5, approximately 82% of Thailand’s population had received at least one dose, 77% had received at least two doses, and 46% had received at least three doses.
The ministry predicts that Covid infections requiring hospitalization will increase by about 5% during the winter season, as school re-openings and holiday festivities facilitate virus transmission.
Infections that required hospitalization averaged 394 cases per day from October 30 to November 5, an increase of about 5% from three weeks earlier, according to Dr. Opas.
“The increase in infections is partly due to a slowing rate of new Covid-19 vaccinations among the public, causing a decrease in immunity,” he explained. “When combined with other year-end activities, the result is an increase in infections.”
Source: Bangkok Post