Covid set to be seasonal, expert says
Annual jabs key to preventing outbreak
published : 7 Feb 2023 at 04:00
newspaper section: News
writer: Apinya Wipatayotin
As Covid-19 looks set to become a seasonal disease like influenza, the government should provide annual vaccinations, especially for those who are living with chronic health conditions and/or the elderly, according to a prominent virologist.
The head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, Yong Poovorawan, said in a Facebook post since more than 70% of the world's population have been infected by Covid-19, case numbers will only spike when conditions are conducive for mass transmission -- for example, during the onset of the rainy season.
Since at least 80% of all Thais have been vaccinated and/or infected at some point, the severity of symptoms reported by patients will continue to decrease, he said, before suggesting that annual Covid-19 vaccinations start in April or May each year, ahead of the start of the monsoon in June.
Between Jan 29 and Feb 4, 252 people were admitted to hospitals for Covid-19, while 17 deaths were reported over the same period.
In a separate Facebook post, the chief of the Thai Red Cross' Emerging Infectious Diseases Health Science Centre, Thiravat Hemachuda, said infection numbers look set to decline further this year.
The decline, he said, is due to a number of main factors, namely a drop in the number of new infections, an increase in the number of mRNA vaccines administered this year, as well as the rise in the number of people seeking immediate treatment after exposure to an infected person.
In related news, individuals who are looking to get a booster shot can still receive a jab at various locations such as the Institute of Dermatology and Thai-Japan Bangkok Youth Centre.
- seasonal flu