According to Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will resume today with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and some senior members of his cabinet being among the first recipients.
The vaccine rollout was abruptly suspended last Friday following reports in Europe of blood clots developing after the vaccine was administered.
Gen Chan-o-cha and senior cabinet members were due to receive their jabs at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi province.
Mr Charnvirakul said yesterday the inoculations will now go ahead today after assurances from medical experts that the pharmaceutical giant’s formula does not increase the risk of blood clots.
Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, will administer Gen Chan-o-cha’s shot as well as receive one himself, said Mr Charnvirakul.
The vaccinations will be carried out at Government House, not Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute as earlier planned, to avoid causing inconvenience to patients at the hospital.
An observation area will be arranged for the recipients with ambulances and Rajavithi Hospital on standby in case of emergency, said Mr Charnvirakul.
There will be no reporters present but the procedure will be broadcast live via the Thai Khu Fah Facebook page.
After getting his vaccine, Gen Chan-o-cha is expected to share the government’s plans for the reopening of the country while Mr Charnvirakul will discuss the vaccine procurement scheme.
Mr Charnvirakul received the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on 1st March, becoming the first person in the country to get the shot.
The Sinovac vaccine is not recommended as yet for those who are 60 or older.
The public health minister also said yesterday the government is trying to secure an additional 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, from any trusted source, to boost its current stockpile.
The Ministry of Public Health plans to administer 63 million doses of vaccine to Thai people by the end of the year in hope of achieving herd immunity.
Mr Charnvirakul insisted that private companies will be allowed to import COVID-19 vaccines when the countries where the vaccines are produced ease regulations on emergency use.