No let up in jabs despite downgrade

No let up in jabs despite downgrade

Kids still a priority while stocks remain

Covid-19 vaccination continues at the Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok on Sept 15. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Covid-19 vaccination continues at the Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok on Sept 15. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The government is continuing its vaccination drive despite Covid-19's pending downgrade in status to "communicable disease under surveillance" from Sunday.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul on Sunday said the government has set clear guidelines for monitoring, treatment and vaccination, after the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) revokes the emergency decree.

The state of emergency imposed to deal with the pandemic will be lifted on Sunday and the CCSA disbanded. In lieu of the CCSA chaired by the prime minister, the public health minister will oversee disease control efforts under the Communicable Disease Act.

The government still has a stockpile of Covid-19 vaccines to administer to people, Ms Traisuree said. Ms Traisuree said children aged six and above can still receive the vaccine at hospitals free of charge.

After the virus is downgraded, the sub-committee for immunity promotion against diseases will provide advice for vaccination and vaccine recipients will be closely monitored by experts to ensure they do not suffer side-effects.

Ms Traisuree said the government has set aside at least seven million doses for use next month. Of that total, at least 5 million doses will go to adults, while 500,000 doses have been earmarked for young people between the ages of 12 and 17, a million doses for children between 5 and 11, and 500,000 for children aged six months to four years. A further 40,000 doses of the Long-Acting Antibody (LAAB) drug will be given to those with poor immune systems.

The provincial communicable disease committees and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will work with tambon administrative organisations, the Interior Ministry and state agencies to vaccinate the six months to four years old group.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Health Department has found most people agree that preventive measures against Covid-19 are still necessary to curb the transmission despite the easing of public health measures.

Dr Ekachai Piensriwatchara, spokesman and deputy director-general of the Health Department, released the results of a survey, conducted from Sept 1–19, showing that people have begun to drop their guard against the virus.

However, despite these small lapses in safety standards, particularly facemask wearing and handwashing, most people still believe that such measures are necessary and have said they will keep adhering to improved hygiene standards for some time to come.

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