Diphtheria & tetanus vaccinations needed to prevent outbreak in ASEAN


BANGKOK, 12 July 2015 – The Disease Control Department has advised around 28 million Thai people who are 20-50 years old to get diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations in its concern over possible outbreak of the two diseases in ASEAN. 

Director of the Bureau of Emerging Infectious Disease (BEID) Rungrueng Kitphati said the Disease Control Department has started providing free vaccines against Diphtheria and Tetanus in one injection since October 1st, 2014. The campaign continues in 2015 on a greater scale to honor HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on her 60th birthday anniversary. Under the campaign, the BEID will provide free diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations to 28 million Thais aged 20-50 before the end of this year.

The Director said the immunization program has prevented the spread of the two diseases in Thailand despite the diphtheria outbreak in neighboring countries like Laos. The program will also help immunize Thai people against the diseases ahead of an expected influx of ASEAN workers into the country when the ASEAN Community comes into force at the end of this year.

Dr. Rungrueng urged Thais in the specified age range to get the vaccinations at any government medical center or at the “Healthy City, Community Way of Life Fair” during 17-26 July 2015.

Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and is most often associated with sore throat, fever, and the development of an adherent membrane on the tonsils or throat, or nasopharynx. In some cases, the disease causes only skin problems on patients. Rare cases have complications of myocarditis that can be severe enough to cause death.