Thai COVID vaccine program saved an estimated half-a-million lives

Thailand’s nationwide COVID-19 vaccine program has saved nearly half-a-million lives, according to the computer modeling done by Mahidol University, one of Kingdom’s premier medical schools, which has also looked at vaccine programs around the world.

The Mahidol Research Center’s mathematical model crunched data from 185 countries and found that vaccination programs worldwide prevented an estimated 14.4 million deaths between 8 December 2020 and 8 December 2021. In Thailand, the figure was 490,000 lives saved.

“Our team also ran the mathematical model and the outcome was rather significantly interesting. We found that the death rate in Thailand is below 0.1 percent, which is very close to that of seasonal flu,” said Charin Modchange, the research team leader from Mahidol University’s Faculty of Science.

Thailand has been praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) for its vigorous and effective response to COVID-19. At one point in 2021, its response was rated among the best five in the world by Global Health Security Index (GHSI).

Once vaccines became widely available in the Kingdom, very few Thais resisted inoculations. Public cooperation in the nationwide vaccination program was a key element in keeping the virus in check. COVID-19 reached the classification of “outbreak” in the Kingdom, but never the level of an epidemic.

“We still recommend that the elderly, people living with chronic diseases and pregnant woman should receive booster shots as fast as possible,” said Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control.

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