Sat, November 27, 2021

in-focus

Ministry cuts interval between AZ jabs to combat raging Delta infections


The second dose of AstraZeneca can be administered after eight weeks instead of 10-12 weeks in areas where Covid-19’s Delta variant is spreading fast, the Public Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

As of June 20, the Delta strain first found in India accounted for over 10 per cent of all Covid-19 infections in Thailand, according to samples analysed by the Department of Medical Sciences. Department chief Dr Supakit Sirilak said 6,000 samples had been tested since the third wave of infections began on April 1. The Alpha (UK) variant accounted for 88.97 per cent or 5,641 cases, while Delta accounted for 10.43 per cent or 661 cases. Most new Delta Covid cases were found in Bangkok.

Renowned virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan on Tuesday predicted that Delta would become the dominant strain in Thailand within four months.

Dr Supakit said that the Beta variant first detected in South Africa was still confined to the southern province of Narathiwat and accounts for just one per cent of Thai infections. Health officials are concerned that Delta is spreading fast despite only being detected in Thailand last month, long after Beta arrived.

The ministry said it has so far allocated 8.5 million doses since the nationwide vaccination drive launched on June 7.

As of June 21, a total of 7,906,696 doses had been administered – 5,678,848 first shots and 2,227,848 second shots. Of these, 5,550,891 were Sinovac and 2,355,805 were AstraZeneca.

Published : June 22, 2021

By : The Nation