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|A woman gets vaccinated against COVID-19 in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 4. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)|
Hanoi - About half the population of Thailand has now acquired immunity against COVID-19 but this remains well short of the government's 80 percent target, according to the country’s Department of Disease Control (DoDC).
Dr Chakkarat Pitayowonganon, director of the DoDC’s epidemiology division, said around 10 percent of Thailand’s 67.5-million people are estimated to have contracted the virus so far. When combined with those who have received two doses of vaccine plus a booster shot, those with immunity against the novel coronavirus should account for about 50 percent of the population.
He said boosters must be prioritised, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with serious underlying illnesses.
According to Dr Chakkarat, during last week's Songkran holiday, many people of working age were out enjoying activities in public places. They ran a low risk of developing severe symptoms if infected because most of them were fully vaccinated and had received one or two booster jabs. But there is mounting concern that they might have passed the virus on to vulnerable people during Songkran visits to family and friends.
Around 55 percent of those in vulnerable groups have not been inoculated at all, he said.
He advised people who come into close contact with vulnerable people to wear face masks, sleep in separate rooms, practice social distancing when eating and make sure elderly relations are vaccinated.