PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) is continuing its province-wide vaccination campaign to provide third-dose booster shots to the elderly and other people classified as ‘Group 608’.
The “608 group” is the authorities’ preferred term for high-risk patients, including those over the age of 60 as well as those with one of seven recognized medical conditions that put patients at higher risk of developing severe signs of infection, as well as more pregnant women under 12 weeks.
On Thursday (March 24), the head of the PPHO Dr. Kusak Kukiattikoon visited Rawai sub-district to witness the launch of “Save 608 by Booster Dose” in the southernmost past of the province. 24 people received their vaccines that day, PPHO reported in a Facebook post.
On Friday (March 25), Dr Kusak traveled to Srisoonthorn in the central part of Phuket to launch the campaign in Thalang. 61 inhabitants were vaccinated there that day.
Phuket health officials are particularly concerned that the elderly are at increased risk of infection during the upcoming Songkran Thai New Year festival, when many people return home to visit loved ones.
As of March 26, no less than half of the 10,000 people in “group 608” had received their booster injections and the campaign continues. According to Dr Withita Jangiam, deputy director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, receiving two doses of the vaccine reduced the risk of death by six times, a statistic that fell 41 times after receiving a third booster.
Dr Withita urged the members of Group 608 to register for their third vaccination booster, if they had not already done so. Alternatively, walk-in visits are allowed for people in group 608 to the nearest hospital.
On Friday, March 25, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed provincial governors and health workers to devise measures to contain COVID-19 on Songkran.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana pointed out that vaccination of the elderly is seen as one of the key measures. Other precautions include refraining from group activities, working from home, delaying non-essential travel, practicing VUCA (Vaccine, Universal Prevention, COVID-19 Free Setting, ATK) and DMHTT (Distancing, Masks, Hand washing , Temperature verification, Thai Chana ) measurements.
Je Department of Disease Control (DDC) said the most optimistic outlook for Songkran is where those precautions are fully implemented, in which case daily infections would decrease to around 20,000 from the middle of this month.
In a worst-case scenario, with precautions used sparingly, infections could reach 100,000 a day through mid-April, the DDC said.
The country has recorded 26,234 additional COVID-19 cases and 67 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Public Health announced this morning. (March 26).
Bangkok recorded the highest number of new cases with 3,739 yesterday, followed by 1,645 in Nakhon Si Thammarat, 1,090 in Chon Buri and 902 in Samut Prakan. Phuket branded 269 new cases of COVID and a death.