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15 Mar, 2021 09:10

Thailand to restart AstraZeneca Covid vaccine rollout, days after suspending use over safety concerns

Thailand to restart AstraZeneca Covid vaccine rollout, days after suspending use over safety concerns

A spokesperson for Thailand’s government has announced that the country will resume using the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine on Tuesday, days after officials halted its rollout amid safety concerns over reports of blood clots.

The spokesperson for Thailand’s government office, Natreeya Thaweewong, confirmed the country’s plans to restart inoculating individuals with the AstraZeneca vaccine in a conversation with reporters on Monday.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul also confirmed that officials had cleared it for use again in a Facebook post, posing with a box containing vials of the jab. Charnvirakul and the Thai government had delayed plans to receive the vaccine after the concerns emerged.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had been set to receive the vaccine on TV on Friday. It’s not currently clear if the cabinet will still receive their inoculations publicly on Tuesday when the country kicks off its vaccination campaign.

The government has not explained what changed in the past three days to convince health officials in Thailand that the drug is safe to use following reports of blood clots in people who’d received it.

Also on rt.com Netherlands becomes latest country to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over concerns of possibly serious side effects

AstraZeneca has insisted that there is no evidence the vaccine increases the risk of blood clots, stating that the rate of pulmonary embolisms in people who received the jab was actually lower than the average rate in the general population.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the European Medicines Agency have also dismissed health concerns and backed the drug’s safety, arguing that the benefits outweigh the risks.

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