The Immunization Centre of the Public Health reports that parents in rural Thailand refuse to allow their children to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Children.
A government campaign offering free Covid-19 immunizations to children is seeing a dismal response, with parents expressing extreme reservations over health concerns.
Data from Thailand’s Public Health Ministry’s Immunization Centre showed that from October 12 to Friday last week, 6,004 children aged six months to four years had been vaccinated with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the centre, 3,285 children, or approximately 55% of the total, were vaccinated in Bangkok, with only 725 children living under the supervision of the Public Health Region 6 Office, which covers the provinces of Sa Keo, Prachin Buri, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Rayong, and Trat.
Child vaccinations were least popular in the northeastern region, particularly at the Public Health Region 8 office, where only 19 youngsters received their first vaccinations. Region 8 includes the provinces of Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Loei, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lam Phu, and Bung Kan.
The numbers were tracked beginning with the introduction of the children’s immunization program on October 12, and the information was shared on the Rural Doctors Society’s Facebook page on Monday.
The ministry has purchased three million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for this category. One million have already been delivered, with half of them going to public health facilities around the country.
The remainder will be delivered by the end of the year.
Thailand is the first Southeast Asian country to target this young population for vaccination.
“The vaccine is effective, up to standard, and safe; parents can register their children for the doses or bring them to centres voluntarily,” Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul said at the campaign’s inauguration on October 12 at Phra Nang Klao Hospital in Nonthaburi province.
The National Statistics Office did not disclose a precise number of children aged six months to four years, but the three million pills requested by the ministry could be an indicator.
Tares Krassanairawiwong, interim director-general of the Department of Disease Control, expressed hope on Monday that more parents would bring their children in for free vaccinations, saying it would help protect them against the virus.
After viewing the low number of vaccinated youngsters three weeks into the campaign, the Rural Doctors Society called the situation “worrying.”
According to the report, parents were hesitant to bring their young children in for immunization due to fears about negative effects. According to the statement, the successful containment of the virus could be a reason for their decision to ignore the campaign.
According to society, the ministry is now facing difficulty. The purchased vaccination would expire in six to nine months unless utilized.
“This is yet another issue and headache for the Public Health Ministry,” it said.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reports the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children has a shelf life of six to nine months.