A Thai medical committee has agreed to shorten the interval between two doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to eight weeks from previously 10-12 weeks, an official said on Tuesday.

The National Communicable Disease Committee has decided to shorten the interval due to possible spread of the Delta variant, Kiattiphum Wongrachit, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, said at a press conference.

A health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Samutprakran Province, Thailand, June 19, 2021. Image: Xinhua

The number of people in Thailand infected with the Delta variant is increasing, and the variant is likely to replace the Alpha variant as the dominant strain causing infections, local media cited Yong Poovorawan, a senior virologist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, as saying.

A woman receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Samutprakran Province, Thailand, June 19, 2021. Image: Xinhua

As of Monday, Thailand has administered more than 7.9 million doses of vaccines since it launched the national inoculation program in February, using Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, according to the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration. 

XINHUA | BANGKOK

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