PM Prayuth takes the shot he refused last week

PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha finally takes his medicine this morning at the Government House.
PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha finally takes his medicine this morning at the Government House.

After getting cold feet last week and sending a troubling vote of vaccine no-confidence, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha this morning got the symbolic shot that has become a rite of passage for leaders worldwide.

Prayuth got the first of two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine at the Government House along with members of his cabinet though Thailand’s vaccine supply is still months away from reaching the public.

Prayuth received a checkup before the vaccination. He weighed in at 83.1 kilograms with a normal blood pressure of 157/88. Reporters were not allowed in to witness the session, fueling conspiracy theories that it would be staged, spurring Prayuth to raise a vaccine bottle and proclaim, “This is genuine.”

It came four days after Prayuth canceled his vaccination at the last minute, citing concerns that AstraZeneca could cause life-threatening blood clots. Some European nations have suspended its use despite the fact health officials there say no evidence of such a link has been found.

Thailand has lagged behind its neighbors in getting vaccines to the public. It doesn’t expect to provide locally made AstraZeneca doses to the public until June at the earliest, according to Anutin Charnvirakul, public health minister. 

Once production is ramped up, Anutin said 10 million doses will be produced each month.

Prior to that, some small amounts were imported from abroad along with several hundred thousand doses of a Chinese vaccine called CoronaVac. They were distributed to some frontline health care workers.

While other cabinet members lined up to get their shots – Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan and Varawut Silpa-archa, minister of natural resources and environment – it’s worth noting that another VVIP, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, was absent. 


Prayuth backs out of AstraZeneca vaccination on unfounded EU scare

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