April 16, 2021

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AstraZeneca Covid vaccine shall be Thailand’s ‘principal’ shot: Well being minister

A well being employee holds a field of the AstraZeneneca vaccine on the Bamrasnaradura Infectious...

A well being employee holds a field of the AstraZeneneca vaccine on the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Illnesses Institute in Nonthaburi province on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Chaiwat Subprasom | SOPA Photographs | LightRocket through Getty Photographs

The coronavirus shot developed by AstraZeneca and the College of Oxford shall be Thailand’s “principal vaccine” because the nation seeks to revive its essential tourism sector, the Thai public well being minister informed CNBC on Monday.  

Renewed security issues across the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot led international locations together with Germany and the Netherlands to halt the usage of the vaccine for individuals beneath 60.

Earlier than these newest strikes, a number of international locations — together with Thailand — suspended the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine following studies of blood clots in some individuals who acquired the shot. However many lifted their suspensions after the World Well being Group stated its evaluate of obtainable information confirmed the vaccine’s advantages outweighing any dangers.

In Thailand, greater than 150,000 individuals have been inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine and the proportion of people that developed uncomfortable side effects “is taken into account very low,” stated Anutin Charnvirakul, the nation’s deputy prime minister and public well being minister.

Anutin informed CNBC’s “Road Indicators Asia” that Thailand is awaiting additional deliveries of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, that are anticipated round June. Along with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Thailand additionally makes use of one developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, stated the minister.

Since end-February, almost 250,000 individuals in Thailand have acquired Covid vaccines, stated Anutin.

Attracting international guests

In contrast with many international locations globally, Thailand has reported comparatively few Covid instances and deaths. Official information confirmed that as of Sunday, the nation has confirmed greater than 29,000 infections and 95 deaths.

However its tourism-dependent economic system has been badly hit, shrinking 6.1% in 2020 in contrast with a yr in the past as international locations restricted journey to gradual the unfold of Covid-19, in accordance with information from the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council.

Thailand is ramping up efforts to restart its tourism industry, including rolling out vaccines in “significant” numbers in popular tourist destinations such as Phuket and Koh Samui, said Anutin.

“We want to make sure that our people are safe, that is our first priority. So once our people are safe, we believe that our guests, namely tourists or any business people, would definitely come to visit our country,” said the minister.  

To attract visitors, Thailand has shortened the quarantine period for foreigners arriving into the country starting this month. The country is also aiming to waive quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign visitors to its biggest holiday island Phuket.  

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