SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Prayut urges wider rollout of Covid-19 jabs for children as infections surge

Prayut urges wider rollout of Covid-19 jabs for children as infections surge

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday urged health authorities to speed up the vaccination of children to halt a jump in infections among unjabbed kids.

Since January 1, 23,826 children aged five to 17 have caught Covid-19 in Thailand.

After the first batch of orange-capped Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines for children arrived on January 26, health authorities launched a vaccination drive for at-risk children aged five to 11 at the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health. This group will get their second jab from February 26 onwards.

“So far, some 29,752 children aged between five and 11 have received their jab. The Public Health Ministry recommends eight weeks before the second jab is administered,” government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said. "Hospitals have set up separate vaccination points for children to ensure the vaccination drive goes smoothly.”

The Thai Food and Drug Administration has also approved Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines for children aged six and above for parents to choose as an alternative.

Thailand recorded 20 deaths and 10,879 new Covid-19 cases, 178 of them foreign arrivals, over 24 hours on Sunday. Meanwhile, 8,285 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

The country’s total caseload from Covid-19 stands at 2,497,001 – 2,383,673 of whom have recovered, 91,037 are still in hospitals and 22,291 have died.

Separately, the total number of Covid-19 vaccines administered nationwide stands at 116,878,247, 52,495,750 if which are first shots, 48,922,790 second shots and 15,459,007 boosters.