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People in high-risk areas may get their 2nd AstraZeneca shot faster


Thailand’s National Communicable Disease Committee has decided to reduce the interval between first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from 12 weeks to eight weeks in areas that have high infection rates.

“The change was proposed by the Department of Medical Sciences based on new data showing that the Delta variant [formerly Indian variant] is spreading rapidly in Thailand,” Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said on Wednesday.

“In the past week, 168 people were infected with the Delta variant, and 661 over the past month.”

He added that providing the second jab of AstraZeneca two weeks faster will help boost recipients’ immunity and subsequently slow down the spread of the variant.

“The original interval between AstraZeneca jabs had been set at 10 to 12 weeks with the option of expanding to 16 weeks,” he added. “This period was approved by the National Communicable Disease Committee on June 14 based on infection statistics in the United Kingdom which had been collected before the Delta variant was discovered.

“The ministry will call on all provincial communicable disease committees to decide whether the interval between first and second doses should be reduced based on the situation in their area,” said Kiattiphum.

Thailand administered 7,906,696 doses of Covid-19 vaccines between February 28 and June 21. Of these, 5,678,848 doses are first jabs and 2,227,848 are second jabs, while 5,550,891 were Sinovac and 2,355,805 AstraZeneca.

Published : June 23, 2021

By : THE NATION