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Prayut says vaccine safety vital, won’t let Thais be ‘guinea pigs’

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha has said he would not risk Thai lives by rushing to approve vaccines that have not been fully tested.

In a message on his Facebook page yesterday, Mr Prayut said he refused to let Thais be guinea pigs.

He alluded to recent news about side effects or adverse effects from Covid-19 vaccine in some foreign countries.

He said Thailand must wait to hear the experts' opinions on whether the symptoms were vaccine-related, or due to other factors such as certain medical and physical conditions, or age, and if the rate of side effects is acceptable.

He said some countries wanted to start vaccination early, even before the efficacy and safety of the vaccine had been fully tested.

Thailand reported 374 cases yesterday, taking its total infections to 12,054. No death was reported, leaving the death toll at 70.

Meanwhile, Malaysia reported 3,339 Covid-19 cases yesterday with 15 of them being imported ones, the Health Ministry said.

This brings the cumulative total to 158,434 cases. There were also seven deaths recorded, bringing the toll to 601.

Selangor recorded the highest number of cases with 1,314, followed by Sabah (393 cases), Johor (362 cases) and Kuala Lumpur (334 cases).

In Australia, New South Wales state health officials yesterday said a cluster of new coronavirus cases has emerged.

The news comes just as the country appeared to be snuffing out all community transmission.

Health authorities were still investigating a mystery case in a man who tested positive on Friday in a western Sydney suburb.

All six locally acquired cases registered yesterday were close contacts of the man.

The latest outbreak shows how easily the virus can spread, state leader Gladys Berejiklian said as she called for more people to come forward for testing.

"What is really important is to make sure that, given we are towards the tail end of this particular outbreak, there have not been other superseding events and we want to keep it that way," Ms Berejiklian said. - THE NATION/ANN, THE STAR, REUTERS

WORLD