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Thailand makes AstraZeneca its first choice for Covid vaccine



Stock photo via Nearshore Americas

Thailand’s deputy PM and public health minister says the AstraZeneca vaccine is the nation’s first choice for protecting itself against Covid-19. Anutin Charnvirakul says more than 150,000 have received AstraZeneca jabs with only a low percentage having developed side effects.

But the low amount of side effects seen is a different tune to the vaccine’s previous safety concerns as other countries had recently stopped its administration over fears of it being linked to blood clots. Thailand joined Germany and the Netherlands in suspending its use until further clarification was made regarding the vaccine’s link to blood clotting.

The World Health Organisation responded to the concerns by saying the vaccine’s benefits outweighed any risks that could be associated with it. AstraZeneca also responded by saying there is no direct link to blood clots and the vaccine. Thailand currently is waiting for more deliveries of the vaccine, which should arrive in June. China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine is also being used in Thailand, but Anutin says AstraZeneca is Thailand’s number 1 choice.

Recently, the government has approved the reopening of Phuket in July, along with a later, nationwide reopening to international tourists by October. The Phuket “Sandbox” plan, however, is contingent upon achieving a herd immunity, or 70% of the local population, by administering the vaccine. The government has also decreased the quarantine time for tourists entering Thailand, as long as they don’t hail from a country that features a virus variant. For those coming from virus variant featuring countries, the normal mandatory quarantine time of 14 days still applies. Those who are vaccinated, can enter Phuket without undergoing quarantines as long as they have proper documentation.

“We want to make sure that our people are safe, that is our first priority. So once our people are safe, we believe that our guests, namely tourists or any business people, would definitely come to visit our country.”



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  1. MR de la Secoya

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    So, how, when, and where will vaccinations be available to the population, in general, including expats?

  2. toby andrews

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Good well it is a Swedish/British vaccine, but will the Thais give it to the British and Swedish?
    I doubt it.
    The Thais will SELL it to the British and the Swedish.
    Just wait and see . . .

  3. dee lee

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Sure give the Thais that sugar water vaccine none of that expensive Pfizer Moderna or J & J shots ; Thai life so cheap !!!

  4. Frank

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    If you have a good insurance they will cover it

  5. Amy Sukwan

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    These vaccines are great, as long as you are in a position to make money from them. For the rest I see AstraZenica as my bet for the first scapegoat

  6. gordon

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    And why not, it’s only the most dangerous with the worst track record.

  7. Richard

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Nope not taking any of them. I will not be the test animal for anyone.

  8. James R

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 12:55 am


    Well at least Thailand has some vaccines to distribute not like the backward Cambodia you are camping out in at the moment.

    I have heard that good cheap Cambodian wine works as a vaccine so you should be OK. ?

  9. Nipral

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Did this incompetent military sort-of-govt have the choice ? As usual they go for the lowest grade alternative. No civilized country made AZ their first choice ! Bribes were probably the most attractive, not the vaccine ! In addition AZ badly needs clients (or victims).

  10. quang

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 9:30 am

    a member of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirms the existence of a “link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and cases of thrombosis in people who have received this product.

    “We can now tell, it is clear that there is a link with the vaccine. What is causing this reaction, however, we do not know yet,” says Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the ‘EMA in the columns of the Italian daily Il Messaggero this Tuesday, reports Le Figaro.

  11. toby andrews

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Every time you post you display your stupidity James R.
    Thailand vaccinations .36 of the population.
    Cambodia vaccinations 1.37 of the population.

  12. James R

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:59 pm


    Only 1.37 people vaccinated, that is not very much is it?

    Stupidity, look in the mirror.

    Is you favourite group UB40? “Red red wine……..”

    The UK vaccinations given so far, 32 million

    Even if you meant 1.37% of the population that is still very low, there might have enough people vaccinated in Cambodia in ten years time.

  13. Peter Scheer

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 5:19 am

    Toby Andrews Australia is 3.1 million doses short of the AZ vaccine ordered last year because the European Union has not signed off with the export licence so AZ cannot export. It is the Unions way of keeping for themselves (greedy). They have forgotten what the world did for them in WW1 and 2. Our CSL lab here is now making the vaccine and now rolling out after being proved Ok. So to say Thailand will sell back to the Brit and Swedes is the most stupid thing I’ve heard. At least in thisw article the Thais have disguised them selves by saying the prefer AZ to Sinovac. They dont trust the Chinese

  14. Roger Bruce

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Ok yes a lot of worry over vaccines but seriously
    Any vaccine is better than none YES?
    AZ Vaccine is used most so more problem show up but on a very tiny % of jabs given
    I admit that the best is P/Moderna but $33 a jab what country can afford this also need s very low temp in transportation not easy to do
    AZ is a choice for Australia and Most Of NZ and Britain so do not nock it they did their homework and a few blood clots from millions of jabs are worth the risk for this safe to handle Vaccine
    Please note that the first Chinese vaccines which Thailand has also ordered in the millions is the only one with a very low-efficiency rating in the 50,s and is really only an emergency vaccine $3, AZ is $4 and up to 90& …while P/Moderna is 95 % yes but hard to store and is $33 a jab … do your own homework on what is best for you and get that one
    I had my first AZ jab no problems

    Good Luck Thailand

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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