Frontline staff to get booster jab

Frontline staff to get booster jab

Frontline medical staff will be given a booster vaccine from AstraZeneca this week, says the Department of Disease Control.

Two medical staff were reported to have died from Covid-19 after getting the Sinovac vaccine, the department revealed yesterday. This included the case of a nurse in a private hospital who died despite having completed her vaccinations.

Speaking at the Ministry of Public Health, Sophon Iamsirithavorn, deputy chief of the department, expressed condolences for the death of the nurse who was admitted to hospital on July 1 and pronounced dead on Saturday.

She received her first dose of Sinovac vaccine in April and the second a few weeks later.

"Despite getting two full doses of Sinovac vaccine, the level of immunity against the disease drops after a while," Dr Sophon said.

"That is the reason we do need to have a third shot to boost the immunity of medical staff. In [the nurse's] case, she had a high risk of infection from her workplace and was overweight, which were key factors in making her condition worse."

The National Committee on Communicable Diseases is likely to approve the booster jabs for frontline medical staff first. The rest will have to wait for a policy from the ministry, as the vaccine is in limited supply.

"They will get the vaccine from AstraZeneca. But if they want the mRNA vaccine, they should wait for a while," he said.

"We are now collecting questionnaires about vaccine needs. Once completed, we will distribute the vaccines this week," he said, adding the vaccine is now reserved for senior citizens and people living with chronic diseases.

According to the department, nurses and nursing assistants are at the highest risk of Covid infections among medical staff at 54%, followed by 7% for doctors and dentists. Some 880 cases have arisen among medical staff.

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