THE National Communicable Disease Committee today (July 12) approved AstraZeneca or Pfizer booster shots for frontline medical personnel while not allowing the sale of antigen rapid test (ART) kits to the public as yet but allowing hospitals and health centres to use them, Amarin TV said.
At a meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul the committee resolved to give a booster jab to healthcare workers with this to be administered three to four weeks after the second shot. Most of them got two shots of the Sinovac vaccine over three months ago and this month they require a booster jab which could be either AstraZeneca or Pfizer.
There is a new strategy to give each person two separate vaccines with the first one being Sinovac and the other AstraZeneca for better protection against the Delta variant.
The 24 brands of antigen rapid test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration can now be used at medical centres approved to carry out RT-PCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests, of which there are more than 300. This will reduce waiting time.
In future the general public will be allowed to carry out antigen rapid test at home.
Guidelines were set for home isolation and community isolation with appropriate conditions. This is for those unable to be admitted to hospital or a community quarantine if a large number of people get infected. They will be closely monitored by Covid-19 medical centres with oximeters to be used to measure their oxygen level and medicine given.
Anutin said coronavirus cases are increasing continuously in Bangkok and its five neighbouring provinces with this spike being the Delta variant. There is a tendency for the outbreak to spread to other provinces where there are factories and wholesale markets if strict preventive and disease control measures are not implemented,
He estimated that the daily coronavirus tally will be 10,000 a day or 100,000 more cases in two weeks with this resulting in over 100 deaths a day.
For this reason strict control measures have to be implemented with this including forbidding the gathering of more than five people; restricting inter-provincial travel; reducing long-distance public transport; and as far as possible employees are to work from home.
The minister added that vaccination of the elderly and those suffering for seven chronic diseases will be increased nationwide. The target is to vaccinate one million people who fall under these two categories within one to two weeks in areas severely hit by the outbreak, mainly Bangkok and its neighbouring province.
From February 28 to July 11 a total of 12,569,213 doses of coronavirus vaccine were administered with 9,301,407 people getting their first jab and 3,267,806 both jabs.
Top: Medical face masks and Covid-19 antigen rapid test device on a blue background. Photo: Marco Verch, professional photographer and Twitch streamer from Cologne (CC BY 2.0)
Home Page: Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin looks at a vial of Covid vaccine. Photo: NNT