Thailand is now on track to implement post-pandemic strategies beginning July 1. Vaccines and boosters, according to the Ministry of Public Health, remain critical preventative tools as case surges remain a possibility.
According to Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, Thailand’s permanent secretary for Public Health, widespread transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely, and the disease itself has become less severe in nature. The permanent secretary also expressed confidence that the public health system would be able to handle future cases. However, he stressed that this does not mean the disease has been completely eradicated, and that surveillance and monitoring for serious cases will continue.
Dr. Kiattiphum also stated that the World Health Organization will ultimately decide whether COVID-19 is an endemic disease. He also emphasized the importance of vaccinations, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Thailand has administered 140 million COVID vaccine doses to date, with approximately 60 million people having received at least one jab.
Concerned about the spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants in Thailand, Dr Kiattiphum stated that the Department of Medical Sciences has been monitoring the two coronavirus strains’ development since April. It is also urging the general public to get their boosters because these sub-variants have been shown to be more effective at evading immune responses.