Thai PM inoculated with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was inoculated this morning, the first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in Thailand, after postponement from last Friday.

The government broadcast the inoculation via Facebook Live, narrated by a medical personnel, hoping to build confidence in the vaccine among the Thai public, the administration of which had been suspended in many countries due to reports of adverse side effects.

Professor Dr. Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, was on hand at the Government House this morning to inoculate the prime minister.

After inoculation, the prime minister told the media that he took the vaccination today to assure the Thai public that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and that everyone in Thailand will have access to the vaccine.

He also sought cooperation from the public by not lowering their guard, especially during the upcoming Songkran festival, during which many people will travel.

The prime minister said that the CCSA will meet this Friday to consider the easing of some restrictions during Songkran.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yong also offered assurance about the safety of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines, which are now available in Thailand, stressing that inoculation is vital if the world is toovercome this pandemic.

“We have to adjust to co-exist with this virus. Even though vaccines do not provide 100% protection against infection, they reduce the severity of the infection and save lives,” said Dr.Yong.

The prime minister went through the full inoculation process, including registration, weight and blood-pressure measurement, being briefed on vaccine related information and giving consent to being inoculated.

The PM thanked all the medical personnel who, he said, have been working hard to make COVID-19 vaccines available for everyone. He also thanked to his supporters for sending him their good wishes and support.

Other ministers inoculated today include Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, PM’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai, Tourism and Sports Minister Phlipat Ratchakitprakarn, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varavuth Silpa-archa, Finance Minister Arkhom Tempittayapaisit, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiseth, among others.

Ministers who are over 60, including the prime minister, received the AstraZeneca vaccine, while those under 60 received the Sinovac version.

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