Prayut urges faster Covid jabs for children 5 and over

Prayut urges faster Covid jabs for children 5 and over

A man in the Tigger mascot gives a souvenir to a boy during a vaccination campaign at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health on Jan 31, 2022. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A man in the Tigger mascot gives a souvenir to a boy during a vaccination campaign at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health on Jan 31, 2022. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on public health authorities to speed up Covid-19 shots for children as the virus continues to spread among kids and their vaccination rate remains very low.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Sunday the prime minister was concerned about about the rate of coronavirus infections in this segment of the population -- children between five and 11 years old -- and wanted them to be quickly vaccinated.

Infections among this group totalled 123,403 between April to December last year, or 13,711 cases a month on average, while cases from January to Feb 2 this year reached 10,266, according to Government House figures.

The Ministry of Public Health has offered the first round of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 since Jan 31 on a voluntary basis. The second jab is planned from Feb 26.

Children aged six or more will also have the option of a Sinovac or Sinopharm shot in the future after the Chinese-made vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, he added.

The total number of children in Thailand in the 5-11 age bracket is 5 million but only about 41,000, or 0.8%, have so far received the first jab, according to ministry data running to Saturday.

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