People deemed as being among seven at-risk groups are invited to get flu shots from today (June 1) until August 31, as 3.5 million jabs were prepared to prevent flu outbreaks this year, according to National Health Security Office (NHSO) secretary-general Dr Sakchai Kanjanawatana.
The Department of Disease Control (DDC)’s Bureau of Epidemiology last year found 196,765 flu patients, 300 per 100,000 population, and 55 deaths from flu complications. From January 1 to March 31 this year there were 29,324 flu patients and one death, most cases of which stemmed from the A (H1N1), A (H3N2) and B strains.
The NHSO and DDC jointly prepared 3.5 million flu shots for seven groups: women who are four-months pregnant or more; six-months to two-year-olds; those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, asthma, kidney failure or who have had strokes, have cancer during chemotherapy treatment and diabetes; over-65s; those with cerebral palsy, thalassemia, immunodeficiency or HIV; and the obesity.
As the vaccine would only help prevent flu by 60-70 per cent, people are still required to take care of their health and avoid exposure to flu patients.