Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says Thailand is in talks about purchasing an additional 5 million doses of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. The announcement comes as the government postpones administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clotting concerns. However, without further explanation, Anutin also states on his Facebook page that inoculation using the AstraZeneca jab will begin next week.
According to a Nation Thailand report, the Health Minister referred to the purchase of additional Sinovac doses while on a visit to a proactive testing campaign at Wang Thong village, in Bangkok’s Nong Khaem district. It’s understood some residents had visited Bang Khae Market, home to a new cluster of infections in the capital. Anutin was accompanied by Opas Karnawinpong from the Department of Disease Control, with both officials attempting to allay fears over another wave of the virus. Anutin says ongoing tracing and proactive screening will ensure anyone found to be infected with Covid-19 is isolated for treatment.
Meanwhile, a further 800,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine are expected to arrive on March 20. However, Anutin says the AstraZeneca vaccine remains the primary jab for mass inoculation set to begin in May. In the interim, he says people should continue to observe safety and hygiene measures. The World Health Organisation has insisted the vaccine is safe, pointing out that there is no confirmed causal link between the vaccine and some reports of blood clots.
So far, 4,046 people at various markets in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district have been tested for Covid-19, with 96 found to be infected and the remainder waiting on results.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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