Doctors throughout the country can now administer vaccine booster shots under a patient’s skin as opposed to into muscles, as was previously the case. Anutin confirmed the method is to be used at the discretion of doctors on the proviso it is supported by evidence.
Each intramuscular dose can be divided among five people using this method, said Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokeswoman Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan to therefore maximise the number of supplies.
Phuket’s Vachira Hospital will begin implementing the new strategy from Friday (Sept 24), with hospital director Chalermpong Sukonthaphon stating trials showed the technique triggered a similar immune response to the regular method.
Phuket, which back in April was among the first provinces in Thailand to administer vaccines, has received 72,500 booster doses of AstraZeneca from the Disease Control Department. These booster shots will be used via the technique to complement the two doses of Sinovac that many of the island’s population have already received.
According to NNT, Phuket has vaccinated just over 50% of 80,000 registered fully vaccinated locals since September 12th. The province plans to roll out booster doses to target groups and state officers in the province between September 19th and 25th. The general public, foreigners and migrants workers will receive jabs between September 26th and 30th.
The decision to adopt unconventional vaccination techniques is largely down to problems with supplies. Official figures state that so far only 21% of the estimated 72 million population have been fully vaccinated.
A similar unconventional approach was recently announced whereby Sinovac will be administered to patients as the initial shot, followed by a second dose of AstraZeneca. This is an approach that has not been adopted anywhere else thus far.
Since the break of the pandemic last year, Thailand has seen 1,500,105 COVID-19 cases, with 1,352,838 complete recoveries so far and 15,518 deaths.