Thailand has said it will reduce the period between the second and third Covid-19 shots, as it strives to boost immunity amid a fresh wave of infections sparked by the Omicron variant.

Speaking on Monday, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesperson for the government’s Covid-19 taskforce, said that those who were given their second shot in August or September could get boosters right away. The booster shots are being made available at any vaccination site across the country.  

“Because Omicron is now widespread, the booster third shot would help lessen the severity of symptoms and reduce the death rate,” Wisanuyothin stated.

According to the health authorities, Thailand has only detected eight imported cases of the Omicron variant, while no community transmission has been recorded.

Around 60% of people in Thailand, or 43 million people, have been given two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, with 4.1 million of them receiving the third shot so far.

Early data suggests that a booster shot significantly increases protection against Omicron, which has mutations on the spike protein allowing it to partially evade vaccine-induced immunity.