Thai authorities are urging people to get booster shots against COVID-19 as the country sees a surge in cases and deaths.
Deaths from the disease have risen more than threefold over the past month, with 42 people dying of COVID-19 in the week of May 21 and 27.
- Thai authorities are urging people to get booster shots as COVID-19 cases surge and deaths increase.
- Bivalent vaccines are available in some hospitals in Thailand and may offer better protection against hospitalization and infection.
- The current waves of COVID-19 in China and Southeast Asia are caused by three Omicron subvariants, and precautions such as avoiding crowded places and isolating if feeling unwell are still necessary.
The country is offering free vaccinations at many facilities, but not all are offering bivalent vaccines that target both the original strain and the current dominant variant. Three Omicron subvariants are behind the current waves of COVID-19 in China and Southeast Asia, which may cause severe symptoms even among vaccinated people who have not had a booster shot.
Thailand, a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, is facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases as many people are reluctant to get booster shots amid concerns about vaccine efficacy and safety.
Thailand has been trying to revive its tourism-reliant economy by easing quarantine rules for vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries since November. However, the emergence of the Omicron variant and the low uptake of booster doses among its population have raised fears of another wave of infections that could derail its recovery plans.
Some of the reasons for the low demand for boosters include confusion over vaccine brands, lack of clear communication from authorities, and distrust in the government’s handling of the pandemic. Many people also believe that they have enough immunity from previous infections or vaccinations and do not need an additional dose.
However, health experts have warned that waning immunity and new variants could increase the risk of breakthrough infections and severe outcomes, especially among older and vulnerable groups. They have urged people to get booster shots as soon as possible to protect themselves and others from the virus.