AstraZeneca vaccine linked to blood clots in 7 Thai recipients

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The Department of Disease Control announced that out of the 20 million Thai citizens who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, seven developed blood clots, with two resulting in fatalities. These adverse effects were confirmed to occur within 42 days post-inoculation.

Today the Director-General of the Disease Control Department, Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, spoke about the vaccine’s side effects, emphasising that the incidences of blood clotting were known globally and were anticipated.

Thongchai explained that when vaccines were first introduced in Thailand, they were authorised for emergency use to curb the spread of Covid-19. The first vaccine administered was Sinovac’s inactivated virus vaccine, which at that time was not recognized by many European countries.

They only permitted entry for individuals vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. As for mRNA vaccines, they were not yet in production for use.

Some 48 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were administered in Thailand, with each individual receiving two doses, amounting to approximately 20 million vaccinated citizens. The last dose was administered in March 2023.

Thongchai reassured that blood clotting only occurred within five to 42 days after vaccination. If clotting happened beyond that window, it was unlikely to be linked to the vaccine. He urged the public not to worry, noting that such cases had been reported globally.

7 out of 20 million

In Thailand, 23 cases of post-vaccination blood clotting were reported, with a committee reviewing adverse vaccine events and determining that seven cases were likely linked to the vaccine, including two deaths.

Thongchai then discussed Thailand’s Covid vaccination strategy, which was previously carried out under emergency conditions due to the pandemic. Vaccines were procured using government funds and administered free of charge to citizens to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, Covid is no longer classified as a dangerous communicable disease in Thailand. Consequently, Covid vaccinations are no longer included in the set of public health benefits and are not provided free of charge.

Discussions are ongoing to determine if vaccinations should be offered to essential groups such as healthcare workers, those at high risk, and the underprivileged voluntarily. It has been observed that unvaccinated, older individuals, are a high-risk group, and have the highest fatality rate.

Now that the situation with Covid has improved, and it’s no longer considered a dangerous communicable disease, the use of vaccines will transition to normal circumstances.

This means vaccines must go through a process of studying their pros and cons, potential impacts and obtaining registration approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, the only vaccine registered for standard use in Thailand is Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.

Addressing concerns about mRNA vaccines, Thongchai stated that vaccines previously imported for emergency use also had side effects, and the mRNA vaccines had been subject to controversy, particularly in the United States, regarding their impact on cellular changes in the body, reported Khaosod.

This announcement aims to provide clarity on the vaccine side effects while reassuring the public about the rigorous review process and the continued monitoring of vaccine safety in Thailand.

Covid-19 NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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