Dept advises chronically ill 12-18 year-olds get jab
The Department of Health is advising vaccination against Covid-19 for young people aged 12-18 years who suffer from chronic illnesses, amid concern over rising infections in this age group.
Director-general Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said on Tuesday that daily Covid-19 infections remain high and keep rising, particularly among the 12- to 18-year-old age group.
A total of 7,787 people in this group were diagnosed with the disease in the first week of August. In the second week, the number rose to 8,733. This pointed to the need for greater monitoring of people in this age group for infection, Dr Suwannachai said.
The Royal College of Paediatricians of Thailand advised that young people aged 12 years and up who live in maximum and strict Covid-19 control areas should be vaccinated, Dr Suwannachai said.
The vaccination programme should focus on young people who suffer from underlying illnesses that put them at risk -- such as obesity, chronic respiratory disease, heart and arterial disease, chronic kidney disease, strokes, cancer, a poor immune system, diabetes and genetic disorders.
Dr Suwannachai said data showed that 41,832 of the estimated 5,196,248 people aged 12-18 years caught Covid-19 between April 1 and Aug 14 this year, or 0.8%. Among this group, there were eight Covid-related fatalities. All who died had a chronic illness, including cerebral palsy, cancer and heart disease, he said.
The department chief said parents and people who take care of chronically ill young people at risk of infection should ensure they get vaccinated. They should be given mRNA-type vaccines.
Seven more Covid-19 deaths and another 1,182 infections were reported in Chon Buri on Tuesday.