The Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine rollout in Thailand is being delayed due to concerns over blood clots after several EU countries suspended their programmes. PM Prayut was supposed to mark the start of using the vaccines in Thailand today, but now his jab has been put off until more information is collected about the vaccine’s safety. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, a Covid-19 vaccine committee advisor says there is no rush.
“Vaccine injection for Thais must be safe, we do not have to be in a hurry.”
“Though the quality of AstraZeneca is good, some countries have asked for a delay. We will delay [as well].”
The news of the vaccine possibly being linked to blood clots comes after a 49 year old Austrian nurse died within days after receiving the Oxford jab. The woman allegedly died of severe blood coagulation problems leading Austria to stop using doses from 1 batch of the vaccine. Yesterday, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark followed suit by suspending the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Although there is no proven link between the vaccine and blood clots, Thai virologist Yong Poovarawan says the Thai government is waiting for Denmark and Austria to make a conclusion concerning the vaccine. Denmark has said the move to stop using the vaccine is purely precautionary. Yong says the batch that Thailand received was manufactured in a factory in Asia.
“We are delaying to let others prove [the side-effects] of whether or not it is because of the vaccine or if it is only on that specific batch.”
Thailand began its vaccination campaign last month with the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine with health workers being the first to receive the injections on February 28. The vaccine rollout is set to cover a majority of residents in Thailand’s tourism-heavy provinces as the country is striving to fully reopen in October.
SOURCE: The Guardian
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