DDC urges people with health issues to get COVID-19 jabs fast


BANGKOK (NNT) – While many people have been enthusiastic about getting their COVID-19 jabs, health authorities are now encouraging the elderly and people with underlying health conditions who may still be hesitant about getting a COVID-19 injection, to do so at a nearby healthcare facility as soon as possible, in order to help prevent severe illnesses and deaths in the community, caused by this disease.

Dr Preecha Prempree, Deputy Director General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), today urged persons with underlying health conditions and the elderly to get their COVID-19 shots at a healthcare facility free of charge.

According to the DDC’s guidelines, priority is given to persons of 60 years of age and over, persons with any of seven comorbities, and pregnant women.

Dr Preecha added that persons with hypertension are most likely to develop fatal complications after contracting COVID-19, especially those whose blood pressure is still not well controlled.

He encouraged persons in this group to continue taking medication and taking care of their health, from eating healthy food to exercising regularly, in order to maintain a good level of blood pressure that meets the vaccination criteria.

The DDC deputy chief said around 70% of Thailand’s population needs to be inoculated in order for the transmission of COVID-19, and the number of serious cases and fatalities, to reduce.

This month, the DDC aims to achieve its goal of administering 10 million shots. Vaccines are now available in all provinces of the country.

The DDC has also advised the public not to believe any offer to pay for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, following a report of fraudulent SMS messages luring recipients to make a bank transfer.

Dr Preecha said anyone who receives or sees such offers is encouraged to report it to an official, while stressing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is given free of charge to eligible persons.

With 1.5 million doses of the mRNA vaccine donated by the United States, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Thailand is currently available to healthcare professionals, the elderly over 60 years of age, people with one of seven serious health conditions over 12 years of age, pregnant women at more than 12 weeks, foreign residents in Thailand with a particular focus on the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, as well as those requiring a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination prior to international travel, such as international students, athletes, and diplomats.