Thailand’s National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC) has decided to move forward the administration of the second dose of AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine to 8 weeks, instead of 16 weeks as recently extended, and 10-12 weeks as originally planned, to address the spread of the Delta (Indian) variant of COVID-19.

Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrachit said today that, on June 14th, the NCDC decided to set the interval between doses of AZ at 10-12 weeks, which could be extended to 16 if necessary, because the spread of the Delta (Indian) strain had not yet been detected.

Since the Delta variant has now been found to be spreading rapidly, as reported by the Medical Sciences Department, he said that the NCDC has decided to re-adjust its vaccination strategy in areas where there is a high Delta variant infection rate, by shortening the interval to only 8 weeks.

Meanwhile, Medical Sciences Department Director-General Dr. Supakit Sirilak said today that the department has found 170 cases of the Delta variant among 300 infections, with 89 cases in Bangkok alone, mostly among construction workers.

He said that, since the start of the third wave of pandemic, on April 1st, 2021, 5,641 cases are of the Alpha (UK) variant infection, accounting for about 88% of all infections.

In the southern provinces, 38 Beta variant cases have been confirmed to date, including 3 cases in Samut Prakan, 28 in Narathiwat, 2 in Phuket, 4 in Pattani and 1 in Yala provinces.

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