Vaccine update for Thailand, Indonesia

Thailand has started its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after postponing it last week, while some European countries have suspended its use.

The Thai government says it has made a comprehensive judgment on the vaccine's safety, based on the views of the World Health Organization and a statement issued by the company.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha got the first AstraZeneca injection on Tuesday. Prayut was originally scheduled to get his shot last Friday. But this was abruptly postponed following reports of blood clots in some vaccinated people in Europe.

Prayut said, "I think it can help create confidence among the general public about getting inoculations from the Thai government."

Thailand started using a vaccine developed by the Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech last month. The country plans to obtain 63 million doses of the two vaccines by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government said it will suspend the start of its AstraZeneca vaccinations. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Monday that Jakarta will wait for results of WHO research on the side effects.

Last week, the country received about 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and had planned to use them for public workers and the elderly.