The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has announced that Thailand’s first shipment of 1,000 monkeypox vaccine doses is expected to arrive later this month and will soon be administered to those determined to have the greatest need.
DDC chief Dr Opas Karnkawinpong held a press conference on Monday (1 Aug) to inform the media about the vaccine and the overall monkeypox situation in Thailand.
With reports of the virus spreading among members of the LGBTQ community in the country, Dr Opas said the issue is highly sensitive, adding that the agency is currently determining how the vaccine will be distributed and whether or not certain groups will be given priority.
According to the DDC chief, 500 patients will have access to the first batch of doses. The injection derives from the 3rd generation of the smallpox vaccine. A committee of academics will make the final determination regarding who should receive the vaccine first.
Dr. Opas added that the infection rate of monkeypox in Thailand is still low, and the severity of the symptoms is mild. In addition to stating that the vaccine is not required for everyone, he cautioned that the vaccine’s adverse effects might be severe in certain individuals or those with preexisting health conditions.
The DDC earlier suggested that provinces with a high number of foreign visitors, particularly from Europe and Africa, implement a screening and reporting system. The agency also advised the public to avoid unprotected sexual activity for their own safety. (NNT)