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Covid boosters NOT a Must

Covid boosters NOT a Must

Most people do not need a booster for the latest Covid-19 strain, except for vulnerable groups and the unvaccinated, as the symptoms are relatively mild and the vaccine must be paid for, according to virologist Yong Poovorawan.

Dr. Yong, from the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, noted that the virus’s severity has consistently decreased, similar to other respiratory illnesses, due to high vaccination levels and herd immunity.

Nearly 90% of the population has been infected with the virus. The remaining 10%, mainly elderly individuals who spend most of their time at home, have managed to avoid infection since the pandemic began.

As Covid-19 has become endemic, seasonal flare-ups are expected, like other respiratory diseases. In Thailand, these outbreaks occur during the rainy season, while countries with long winters experience a surge of infections due to the extended cold.

“In Thailand, Covid-19 outbreaks are common during the rainy season or at the start of a new school semester,” Dr. Yong said.

“Most patients have mild symptoms and can take care of themselves,” he added. “The hospitalisation rate is also lower than during the same period last year.”

Dr. Yong stated that the cumulative number of Covid-19 deaths this year should not exceed 300, comparable to influenza. He also expects the severity of Covid-19 and the hospitalisation rate to continue decreasing.

Regarding Covid-19 vaccines, Dr. Yong mentioned that the National Health Security Office (NHSO) no longer receives a subsidy to distribute them for free.

“There is no need for healthy children, adults, or elderly people to get booster shots due to the relatively high cost,” he said. “Anyone wishing to be vaccinated must pay out of pocket, and the vaccine is expensive. The demand for the vaccine has dropped, so supplies are limited, driving up retail costs.”

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) released a weekly report on Covid-19 infections nationwide between May 26 and June 1, indicating 1,863 cases are being treated in hospitals, with an average of six deaths per week. The total number of cases has reached 20,483, with 132 deaths.

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