Ministry postpones AstraZeneca vaccination after blood clotting reported in Europe

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2021

The Ministry of Public Health has postponed the launch of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday, as it is awaiting the results of an examination after cases of blood clotting were reported in some countries.

Relate story: AstraZeneca vaccine’s benefits outweigh risks, says EMA, as probe launched into blood clotting cases

Dr Piyasakol Sakonsattayatorn, consultant on strategy and planning for management of the Covid-19 vaccine, announced the postponement of AstraZeneca vaccination for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Cabinet members, who were to be the first recipients.

Dr Piyasakol said that it was necessary to delay the vaccination because there were reports from Denmark and Austria on Thursday night about suspected side-effects that caused blood to clot in the veins.

The Ministry of Public Health and the medical team believed that the vaccination would be the safest for the public but wanted to find out if the side-effects in some European countries, especially Denmark and Austria, were caused by the vaccination, he said.

Prof Dr Yong Poovorawan, head of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok said there were chances of finding adverse reactions or side-effects in a mass vaccination programme. Blood clot in the veins is most common among African and European people, who are at three times more risk than Asians, indicating that genetic factors are involved. There are currently 3 million doses of the vaccine given in Europe, of whom 22 have died, or 7 in a million.

He said the vaccine was not bad but they needed to ensure that the problem did not occur from a manufacturing error.

AstraZeneca vaccine in Thai ministry hand manufactured in South Korea from where Thailand is sourcing its supply after it's original supplier, Italy, was blocked from fulfilling the order because of an EU restriction. It is not known from where Denmark has got its vaccine.

The National Vaccine Committee has postponed the AstraZeneca vaccination for 1-2 weeks.

Dr Yong added that race or heredity was a major risk factor in vaccination.

However, coagulation has never been associated with any vaccine, he said, adding, Thailand now needs to patiently wait for the report data that may come out within 1-2 days. He still believes that AstraZeneca is one of the best vaccination options.