11 July 2024

The COVID-19 vaccination of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and 36 cabinet ministers, which was scheduled for today at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute, has been postponed.

This came after reports that countries in the EU postponedtheir inoculation programs, after 30 people, who had been inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, experienced blood clotting.

Advisor to the CCSA, Professor Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said the postponement came after Denmark and Austria found cases of blood clotting after vaccination. He explained that, if there are any negative side effects from a vaccine, then there is no need to rush to get inoculated, although the AstraZeneca vaccine has high efficacy. Currently an investigation is underway in Europe to find out whether the blood clotting is related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, Dr. Prasit Watanapa, explained that AstraZeneca has sent 1 million doses of vaccine to 17 countries in Europe, and many countries have started inoculations. Denmark reported one death following inoculation, but it has not yet been proved to be related to vaccination.

There have been a number of reports of blood clotting after vaccination. It is unclear whether the blood clotting is related toCOVID-19 vaccines, but to ensure safety, the cabinet’s inoculations have been postponed by two weeks for investigation.

Other countries postponing inoculation programs includeIceland, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia.

Meanwhile, Professor Dr. Kulkanya Chokephaibulkit, at the Pediatric Infectious Diseases of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, explained that the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines can happen, as it is still a new type of vaccine.

Any cases of side effects after the vaccination must be investigated, especially when Thailand is about to begin nationalinoculation, with the target group being elders and others inhigh-risk groups.

She added that, based on their expert’s observations, the blood clotting is unlikely to be related to COVID-19 vaccines, as blood clotting has never been a side effect of any type of vaccine.

Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul assured that AstraZeneca vaccines are safe and it has been approved by the World Health Organisation, adding that over 30 million doses have already been administered worldwide.

He also explained that the medical team considers that the safety of Thai people must come first, which led to the decision to postpone inoculation using the AstraZeneca vaccine. In the meantime, the inoculation with the Sinovac vaccine will proceed as planned.

Initially, the inoculation was scheduled in order to boost confidence in the vaccines among the public, where ministers over 60 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, and those under 60 will be inoculated with the Chinese Sinovac version.