Prayuth backs out of AstraZeneca vaccination on unfounded EU scare

PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha gets a flu job last year at the Government House. Photo: Government House
PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha gets a flu job last year at the Government House. Photo: Government House

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha got cold feet and canceled his first injection of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine at the last minute this morning. 

At around 8:30am – 30 minutes before he was to be inoculated in front of cameras – the Public Health Ministry announced that Prayuth and his cabinet would postpone vaccination after some European nations suspended its use.

Health officials cited reports that Denmark, Norway and Austria had paused use of the vaccine due to concern about it causing blood clots.

“Although AstraZeneca vaccine shows efficacy, but when some advised that it should be postponed the vaccination, we should listen and follow accordingly,” said Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn, advisor of the COVID-19 task force.

The European Medicines Agency said yesterday there is “no indication” that the vaccine caused any such side effect..

Piyasakol said their vaccination would be rescheduled in “a week or two.”

Danish health authorities on Thursday cited an unspecified number of severe cases of blood clots in people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca there. Denmark said it would suspend inoculations for two weeks while the European Medicines Agency investigates any link to the possible side effect. 

Norway and Iceland cited Denmark’s decision to follow the same. Estonia, Lithuania,  Latvia, and Luxembourg also refrained from using the shots, developed in part by Oxford University, as they are from the same batch as Denmark’s.

The European Medicines Agency yesterday said that it was reviewing the reports though there was “currently no indication that vaccination has caused” blood clotting.

“The vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases … is ongoing,” the agency said. 

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