Baku, March 1, AZERTAC
Thailand kicked off its COVID-19 inoculation campaign on Sunday, with cabinet ministers, health officials and medical professionals among the first in the queue to receive vaccinations, according to Reuters.
The first doses of vaccine, developed by China's Sinovac Biotech, were given to Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is also the health minister, among others at an infectious diseases institute on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, 66, attended the event, although his age falls outside the range of 18 to 59 suitable to receive SinoVac's CoronaVac vaccine, so he did not get it.
Thailand received its first 200,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China and 117,00 imported doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine this week.
CoronaVac has been distributed to 13 high-risk provinces, which will start injecting front-line health professionals and volunteers on Sunday, the health ministry has said.
AstraZeneca's vaccine will be ready for use by the second week of March, after going through quality control tests, the company said in a statement.
Thailand is expected to take delivery of a further 1.8 million doses of CoronaVac in March and April.
A mass campaign to administer 10 million doses a month is set to begin in June.
With a tally of just over 25,000 infections, Thailand has escaped the kind of fallout suffered by some other countries since the pandemic began in 2020.
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