Thailand to administer AstraZeneca vaccine after delay over safety

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Thailand will start using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Tuesday after a brief delay due to concerns over its safety, government officials said.

According to the officials, the prime minister and his cabinet are due to be the first to receive the vaccine.

Thailand, on Friday, was the first country outside Europe to suspend using the AstraZeneca shot. Authorities in Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands suspended their use of the vaccine over blood clotting issues.

Natreeya Thaweewong of the spokesperson’s office of government house told reporters in a text message that the delayed inoculations of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his ministers would take place on Tuesday morning.

AstraZeneca said it had undertaken a “careful review” of data from more than 17 million people vaccinated in the UK and EU, which showed “no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia.”

Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, on Monday said the AstraZeneca vaccine would be given to the cabinet if cleared by local health experts, who were meeting on Monday.

Anutin said many countries had confirmed there were no issues of blood clots as a side effect of the vaccine and would continue administering it.

“Our academic committee said it should be given and they will meet this afternoon for more confidence.”

(Reuters/NAN)

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