Tue, December 07, 2021

in-focus

New benefits package for VITT diagnosis and treatment under Universal Coverage Scheme


The National Health Security Board has approved laboratory testing and medication for treating vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) under the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS)’s benefits package.

VITT is a prothrombotic syndrome observed in a small number of people who received adenoviral vector-based vaccines in Covid-19 vaccination programmes. The exact incidence of VITT appears to be rare. Only one in 125,000 to one million vaccine recipients develop this condition.

VITT symptoms include severe headache, numbness, visual changes, difficulty in breathing, one-sided paralysis, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, petechiae, leg pain, or swelling. The symptoms may show up in individuals within four to 30 days after vaccination.

Public Health Minister and NHS board chairman Anutin Charnvirakul said that the introduction of VITT laboratory testing and treatment in the UCS’ benefits package aimed to instil confidence in the Covid-19 mass vaccination programme.

“The Thai government will take care of people experiencing adverse effects after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine,” Anutin said.

Vaccine recipients who experience symptoms caused by VITT can request free laboratory testing at their registered hospitals. They will receive free treatment, too, if they are diagnosed with VITT.

NHSO Secretary-General Dr Jadej Thammathat-Aree said that the NHSO would cover the cost of four items relating to VITT diagnosis and treatment;

•Complete blood count, maximum of THB50 per test

•Heparin-PF4 antibody ELISA assay, maximum of THB1,550 per test

•Heparin-induced platelet activation test, maximum of THB1,550 per test

•Human normal immunoglobulin, intravenous (IVIG) for treating VITT.

The NHSO has allocated around THB9.28 million to cover the cost of IVIG, said Dr Jadej.

Published : June 14, 2021

By : The Nation