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People urged to get vaccinated before Songkran

Thailand’s Disease Control Department’s Dr. Sumanee Wacharasint stressed today (Thursday) the need for people who are at high risk of serious complications to get vaccinated urgently, as the death toll from COVID-19 reached this year’s new high of 74 cases today.

As the daily death toll rises and exceeds projections, she said this is a grim warning to people with underlying diseases, such as cancer, chronic kidney problems, obesity and the bedridden, as well those older than 60 to get vaccinated urgently, be it their first, second or third dose.

Of the 74 deaths recorded today, she disclosed that 48% were unvaccinated, 6% had received one dose, 35% had received two doses more than three months ago and 9% had received two doses less than three months ago. Only 1% had received three doses. The youngest was 26 years old and the oldest, 97.

Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Dr. Sumanee said that a third shot for those who had their second shot three months ago is necessary to reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms or dying if infected.

Currently, only 30% of Thai population have received third shots, or 19.6 million people, which is considered very low.

She said that the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health have agreed to carry out a vaccination campaign, from March 21st to 31st, with the aim of getting at least 70% of the high-risk group vaccinated before the long Songkran holidays.

All local officials have been instructed to survey the number of unvaccinated people in their localities and to convince them to get vaccinated.

Elderly people are vulnerable during Songkran because they will be visited by their young relatives, for the traditional practice of paying their respects.

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