Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said Pfizer is the only vaccine approved by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children in this age group, reports the Bangkok Post.
He said the shipment of the first three million Pfizer doses arrived yesterday (Oct 6) and the initial target is for 1mn children, out of a total of 3mn age-appropriate children. An additional order will be procured if there is more demand, he said.
Dr Opas said a campaign to raise awareness for parents to bring their children to be vaccinated will kick off at Pranangklao Hospital in Nonthaburi with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul presiding over the event on Oct 12.
He said COVID-19 vaccinations in Thailand have been quite a success with 143mn doses given to people of all ages including children aged 5-11 years old, of whom 3.3mn received their first shot and 2.8mn their second shot. Another 3.8mn doses were given to children aged 12-17 years old.
“I would like to invite parents to take their young kids to get the vaccine next week. The practice of vaccination is conducted under the College of Paediatricians of Thailand, so the vaccine is safe for them,” he said.
The other age groups of children should likewise get a booster shot to help prevent infections and severe conditions, he added.
Dr Opas said all people should consider getting a booster every four months even though the COVID situation has improved, including it being downgraded to a communicable disease under surveillance.
Dr Tares Krasanairawiwong, chief of the Department of Disease Control, said that the Department of Medical Science will carry out quality control measures on the Pfizer vaccine being used on children aged six months to four years before it’s distributed to the country’s hospitals.
He said that the department has provided a guideline for vaccine administration stating a dosage of 0.2 millilitres per shot.