BANGKOK, March 12 — As Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha and some cabinet ministers were getting ready to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine shots, the government announced it has postponed the roll-out of the particular vaccine.
Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, an adviser for Thailand’s COVID-19 vaccine committee, said Thailand delayed the roll-out of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine following a suspension of inoculations using the vaccine in some European countries including by Denmark, Norway and Iceland.
“Some countries have asked for a delay in inoculation using the particular vaccine…We will delay (inoculation) while waiting for the reports,” he said at a press conference here today.
A virology expert from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University Prof Dr Yong Poovorawan said vaccine delivered to Thailand was not a part of the controversial batch which is said to have caused post jab blood clots in some of those who received the vaccine.
“That batch was produced in Europe. We use a batch made in Asia. The postponement is to wait for verification whether there is any implication from the vaccine or that batch of the vaccine,” Bangkok Post quoted him saying.
Thailand received its first batch of 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine and another 117,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on February 24. The vaccination drive using Sinovac vaccine started on Feb 28, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine underwent quality assurance process and the roll out slated for today.
Prayuth and his cabinet members were to be inoculated today at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province. Some were to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, and others China’s Sinovac vaccine but at the end the vaccination exercise was deferred.
Thailand plans to start mass vaccination in June with 61 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by local firm, Siam Bioscience Co Ltd.
Thailand aims to vaccinate 50 per cent of its population by year-end.