Drive to vaccinate pregnant women

A pregnant woman is inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine at Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital in Bangkok on Sept 9. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The government has launched a campaign to accelerate the vaccination rate of pregnant women against Covid-19 as they are considered vulnerable to the disease, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said.

Ms Rachada said the campaign, supervised by the Health Department, runs from Sept 13-Oct 13 with the aim to vaccinate 100,000 pregnant women in one month.

The government's vaccination plan prioritises the inoculation of people aged 60 or more, people with any of seven underlying diseases, and women 12 weeks pregnant and over.

But to date, only about 50,000 of the country's estimated 500,000 pregnant women had received the first Covid jab, she said.

The Public Health Ministry reported that since early April, when the current pandemic surge began, 2.26% of pregnant women infected with Covid-19 had died or given premature birth, and newborns risked getting the disease from their mothers.

Pregnant women need to be vaccinated urgently, Mr Rachada said.

Ms Rachada said the inoculation drive is nationwide at Covid-19 vaccination centres, local hospitals and pregnancy-care clinics.

Pregnant women should also be vaccinated against influenza. The Covid-19 and flu jabs should be at least two weeks apart. They could get a flu shot between the first and second doses of Covid vaccine.

The spokeswoman said pregnant women can get flu shots free of charge at all government hospitals and healh service centres, as well as private clinics that have joined the programme, from now until Dec 31.

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