Thailand’s National Health Security Board (NHSB) has extended the government’s free flu-vaccination program until the end of the year, to compensate for disruption caused by COVID-19.
NHSO deputy secretary-general Dr. Jakkrit Ngowsiri said only about 28% of the target population has received the flu vaccine since this year’s program launched on May 1st, adding that three groups at risk from COVID-19 should also get free flu jabs this year.
He said these 3 groups are healthcare workers and others handling COVID-19 patients, people living, working or studying in crowded areas and other people at risk from flu when the situation changes, will receive flu jabs from October until the end of December. People can also take the flu vaccine between their first and second shots of COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Jakkrit said this year’s flu vaccination program is aimed at preventing severe illness or death from influenza and avoiding confusion in diagnoses of flu and COVID-19. Free flu jabs are available at all state-run hospitals and healthcare facilities under the universal coverage scheme (UCS), but booking an appointment is highly recommended to avoid overcrowding. (NNT)