Thailand Delays AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Due to Blood Clot Reports

Thailand has joined several European countries in delaying the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca due to reports of blood clots.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Cabinet members were set to receive the vaccines on March 12 but canceled the plans after Denmark, Norway, and Iceland have temporarily suspended the vaccine due to about 30 cases who received the vaccine reporting “thromboembolic events” or the development of blood clots.

“Though the quality of AstraZeneca is good, some countries have asked for a delay. We will delay (as well),” COVID-19 Vaccine Committee Advisor Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said at a news conference.

Other European countries that suspended the use of the vaccine due to the same reason include Latvia, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg.

However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said last March 11 that there was no indication that the vaccine caused the blood clots to develop.

“The vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks,” EMA said, adding that investigation into whether the vaccine may indeed trigger development of blood clots is ongoing.

In Europe, around five million have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Thailand began its mass vaccination campaign last Feb. 28, days after it received its first batch of 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and 200,000 doses of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine.

Thailand said it will continue using the CoronaVac vaccine.

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