Government urges people to get vaccinated, points to recent fall in death rates

Increasing vaccine coverage is reducing deaths from Covid, the government said on Monday.

The government is urging people, especially people within the venerable groups, to get vaccinated against the virus as the issue has been highly politicalized and mortality rates among vulnerable groups are still high.

“Vaccination is part of the reasons that helped lowered the number of Covid deaths,” said Dr Taweein Wisanuyothin, the spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The number of Thai people who received the first dose had increased from less than 10 per cent of the population to more than 36 per cent over the past two months, Taweesin said.

Meanwhile, the mortality rate of people who fell ill and died because of Covid infection had decreased from more than two percent to less than one percent over the same period of time.

The daily number of deaths due to Covid also decreased from an average of 258 cases between August 18 and 31 to 222 cases between September 1 and 13.

Some people are refusing to be inoculated by Sinovac because of the lack of transparency in its procurement deal and some do not trust the government’s mix-and-match vaccination method.

In July, Thailand became the first country in the world to administer a first dose of Sinovac and a second dose of AstraZeneca as part of a systematic method. Studies have shown this provides better protection against the Delta variant which is now the dominating variant in the country.

According to YouGov, the percentage of surveyed Thai people who are willing to be vaccinated or have already done so dropped from 83 per cent in January to 63 per cent in May, before rising to 78 per cent in August.

The country is currently administering around 800,000 jabs per day compared to less than 300,000 in June.

The government is now urging people age 60 and above, people with an underlying disease and pregnant women in particular to get vaccinated, as the mortality rate of these groups are higher than other groups.

Of the 132 people who died of Covid in the past 24 hours, 76 per cent or 100 people were more than 60 years old, and 20 per cent or 26 people had an underlying condition.

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