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COVID booster jabs still available, says Vachira chief

COVID booster jabs still available, says Vachira chief

PHUKET: Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Weerasak Lorthongkam has assured that COVID-19 vaccinations for “citizens and tourists” are available at Vachira Phuket Hospital, the main government hospital on the island.

By The Phuket News

Monday 24 April 2023, 11:31AM

Dr Weerasak said that many new infections had spread following the Songkran Festival, reports state news agency NNT.

“The Ministry of Public Health has found an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 in new in many areas of Thailand,” he said.

Dr Weerasak said that the Ministry of Public Health was emphasising that people “must comply” with three main measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19: receiving the annual COVID-19 vaccination, wearing a mask in public, and taking an ATK test when they are sick.

“Vachira Phuket Hospital is ready to take care of people and tourists. We have vaccination services for citizens and tourists who need a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially those who received their last dose of vaccine more than four months ago,” he said.

People can be vaccinated at Vachira Phuket Hospital by either walk-in or calling to make an appointment in advance at number 076-361234, said the report.

“However, we still ask people not to be careless,” Dr Weerasak said, urging people to continue to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of infections.

Of note, the report was posted by the national branch of NNT, not by local government officials. The report so far has not been shared by the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) or by Vachira Phuket Hospital itself.

Internal - Phuket News TV

Phuket officials have yet to release any figures confirming the spread of the latest variant of COVID-19 across the island.

According to the Centre for Medical Genomics, about 52% of new COVID-19 cases in Thailand are being caused by the XBB sub-strain of the Omicron variant, reports the Bangkok Post.

Sub-strains of the XBB variant have been blamed for the recent spikes of COVID-19 cases across the globe, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to reclassify the XBB.1.16 sub-substrain from a “variant under monitoring” to “variant of interest”.

In Thailand, there are 34 current cases caused by the XBB1.15 sub-strain, or about 15% of all COVID-19 cases in the country, according to Ramathibodi Hospital’s Centre for Medical Genomics, said the report.

According to the centre’s genomic analysis of XBB.1.16, the sub-variant will become the dominant sub-strain in Thailand in the next few months.

Yong Poovorawan, head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, said on his Facebook page on Sunday (Apr 23) that COVID-19 vaccinations should be given annually, similar to influenza shots.

He also urged people to get booster vaccinations before the annual rains return next month.

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