Probe to check Covid deaths of vaccinated
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has agreed to launch an investigation to find out why so many people have died from Covid-19 despite having had three vaccination shots.
He announced the probe following a national communicable disease committee meeting on Wednesday.
He said about 7% of those infected who had three doses have died, while zero fatalities were recorded among those who received four shots. Records showed that most deaths were among senior citizens and people with chronic diseases.
Mr Anutin also urged the high-risk 608 group -- which comprises people aged 60 years and over, those with underlying diseases and pregnant women -- to complete the full vaccine course and receive booster doses.
People who received two doses last year are required to get booster doses to reduce the risk of death, he said.
The meeting also discussed Covid-19 measures in place for the reopening of schools across the country for the start of the next academic year, on May 17.
The public health and education ministries have tweaked disease prevention measures to ensure student safety for on-site classes. The ministries will also vaccinate more young students.
More than 54% of children aged 5-11 have received their first dose, while only 17% have had a second, Mr Anutin said.
The Covovax vaccine from India has now been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children aged at least 12 years old. Approval was previously given to people at least 18 years of age.
The FDA also approved the use of the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 years and above after previously allowing children aged at least 12 years to have it, he said.
Commenting on the supply of antiviral Favipiravir pills, the minister said the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) can produce its own pills.
The cost is 13 baht per pill or 600 baht per course, much lower than the imported Favipiravir pills at 8,000 baht per course.
The imported price of Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, is also reduced from 1,200 baht to 200 baht per shot.
This was because supply of the drug was higher than demand, he said.
Mr Anutin said the FDA will relax some rules to allow private hospitals to procure Molnupiravir.
At present, the pills remain registered as medication for emergency use only.