Thailand restarts AstraZeneca vaccine rollout amid side effect fears

Bangkok, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and other ministers of his government received the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine Tuesday after delaying its rollout amid side effect fears.

“Today, I am boosting confidence for the general public,” Prayuth said.

Thailand has launched its massive vaccination campaign to inoculate some 30 million people this summer.

The country postponed its Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine rollout on Friday after several European countries did so over reports of blood clots.

On Monday, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain decided to suspend the vaccine distribution developed jointly by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

However, medical experts from the Thai Ministry of Public Health said they had received assurances from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency that the vaccine was safe and that there was no evidence linking it to cases of thromboembolism.

The country began inoculation with Chinese company Sinovac’s vaccine last month.

But the nation relies more on Oxford/AstraZeneca, from which it received some 117,000 doses.

With a population of around 69 million people, the country also expects to produce another 61 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from June in a local laboratory owned by the Thai king’s business holdings.

So far, Covid-19 has caused some 27,000 infections and 87 deaths in Thailand, where a second wave that began in December has dropped to fewer than 100 daily cases. EFE-EPA


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