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Two million elderly not vaxxed as Songkran looms

Two million elderly not vaxxed as Songkran looms

BANGKOK: The Department of Disease Control has urged more than two million elderly people to get COVID-19 shots before the Songkran festival as infections may soar during the festive period when families reunite across the nation.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 5 March 2022, 07:50AM

Nurses vaccinate elderly people against COVID-19 on their row bus in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan last year. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Nurses vaccinate elderly people against COVID-19 on their row bus in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan last year. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn, the department’s deputy chief, said the department has voiced strong concern that 2.17mn senior citizens still have not received any COVID-19 vaccines, meaning their health could be jeopardised if they get infected.

“Getting vaccinated can save their lives and certainly minimise any severe symptoms if they catch COVID,” he said, citing statistics that show that two doses plus a booster means they are 41 times less likely to die if they contract the disease.

He said 928 elderly people have died from COVID in Thailand over the past two months, most of whom were not vaccinated, reports the Bangkok Post.

“A large percentage of the elderly demographic in Thailand is now vaccinated with at least one shot, with coverage now extending to 83% of the elderly population, or 10.54mn people,” he said.

“But more than 2mn people in that age bracket still haven’t had any shots at all. They need to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Dr Sophon added.

“We don’t want to see a tragic loss of life among older generations of families due to this disease during the Songkran festival.”

Statistics provided by the department show that out of every 100,000 senior citizens in Thailand aged 60-69, 521 contract COVID. The number is slightly lower for those above 70 at 444.

That being said, these two groups see the highest rate of death, with 0.62% and 2.86% respectively. This compares to a mortality rate of just 0.01% for a child aged 0-9 years or 0.03% for working people aged 30-39.

Family members are urged to take their elderly relations to get jabbed, Dr Sophon said.

Previously the department said that in a worst-case scenario, the Omicron-led pandemic could see over 100,000 cases a day unless people rigorously adhere to all preventive measures, with deaths capped at 50 a day.

And yet the situation has already exceeded that fatality forecast, with Thailand reporting 23,834 new cases yesterday (Mar 4) and 54 deaths.

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Kurt | 06 March 2022 - 11:08:44

@Foot. When website not works it means they not have the Pfizer vaccines this moment. By the way, did you already do a blood test to check or the level of anti bodies is high enough to skip 3rd vaccination for the time being? I did blood test in Phuket Int Hospital. Have still enough anti bodies. ( after 2 Pfizer vaccinations, last one was beginning October).

Foot | 06 March 2022 - 10:05:45

Still cannot get 3rd jab (booster).  As usual, "Phuket must win" website not working.


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