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Thailand PM gets AstraZeneca jab, 1 Asian country suspends

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Thailand PM gets AstraZeneca jab, 1 Asian country suspends
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One Asian nation suspends Thailand's PM after receiving an AstraZeneca injection.

One Asian nation suspends Thailand’s PM after receiving an AstraZeneca injection.

Thailand PM gets AstraZeneca jab, 1 Asian country suspends

Thailand PM gets AstraZeneca jab, 1 Asian country suspends

 

On Tuesday, Thailand’s prime minister was given a shot of the AstraZeneca-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine, while most of Asia ignored concerns about reports of blood clots in some European recipients, arguing that there is no proof connecting the two.

AstraZeneca has developed a manufacturing base in Asia, and the company has contracted the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, to produce a billion doses of the vaccine for developing countries. This year, Australia, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea will produce hundreds of millions more.

After getting the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said, “There are people who are worried.” “However, we must trust physicians and medical professionals.”

Thailand was the first country outside of Europe to briefly halt the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week. On Monday, Indonesia followed suit, announcing that it was awaiting a full report from the World Health Organization on potential side effects.

However, Thailand’s health authorities agreed to continue with AstraZeneca, and Prayuth and members of his Cabinet were the first to collect the shots.

A number of European countries, including Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, halted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday, citing warnings of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, despite the company’s and international regulators’ denials.

The European Medicines Agency has scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review experts’ findings on the AstraZeneca shot and determine if further action is needed.

Other Asian countries have announced that they will proceed with vaccination programs.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt stated that vaccines will not be suspended in his country. So far, Australia has vaccinated over 200,000 people, and AstraZeneca has agreed to import and produce 70 million vaccine doses.

“The government unequivocally supports the AstraZeneca rollout, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, unequivocally, une And the reason for that is simple: it will help save and protect lives, and it will be done on medical advice,” Hunt told Parliament.

Paul Kelly, Australia’s chief medical officer, stated that there is no proof that the vaccine triggers blood clots.

“Blood clots happen, and they happen a lot in Australia,” he said. “However, I do not believe there is a direct correlation between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, and I am not alone in this belief.”

India is by far the biggest user of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

India immunizes its large population with two vaccines: the AstraZeneca shot made by Serum Institute of India and another made by Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech. According to government estimates, over 23.4 million of India’s 25.6 million people who have taken at least one vaccine shot have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Saturday, health officials told the Press Trust of India news agency that 234 adverse effects, including 71 deaths, had been recorded after receiving either vaccine, but that no causal link had been established. The government is currently reviewing the cases in order to make a final decision.

AstraZeneca has contracted Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, to produce a billion doses of vaccine for developing countries. According to government statistics, India had exported over 48.1 million doses of vaccine by March 4, including 11.9 million doses to COVAX and 28.8 million doses as commercial exports.

Meanwhile, Indian health advocates and medical ethics experts have cautioned that the country’s mechanisms for tracking potentially harmful side effects are too weak.

Asian countries, with the exception of a handful, such as Singapore and India, have been slow to get their citizens vaccinated. COVID-19 has been successfully contained in the majority of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand.

Thailand has requested only enough vaccine from AstraZeneca and China to inoculate about 50,000 people in high-risk groups so far this year.

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