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Thailand starts COVID-19 vaccination

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-02-28 13:18

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presents two vials of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb 24, 2021. The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines that Thailand ordered from China's Sinovac Biotech arrived in the capital Bangkok Wednesday, putting the country on track to kickstart its national inoculation program. [Photo/Xinhua]

BANGKOK - Thailand on Sunday started its COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, with the first shot, using China's Sinovac vaccine, going to Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the event at the country's infectious disease institute, where other officials, including deputy public health minister, agriculture minister, culture minister and deputy education minister, were also vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine.

"It's a historic day and a day to help the country rebuild confidence against the pandemic," Prayut told reporters after all the recipients of the vaccine ended their 30-minute observation period and had shown no adverse reaction.

Also on Sunday, 159 people in Samut Sakhon province, the epicenter of the country's new wave of an outbreak that erupted in mid-December, are scheduled to receive their first shot of the vaccine. These included local officials as well as representatives of at-risk groups such as medical workers and migrant workers.

On Wednesday, Thailand received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, 200,000 doses from China's Sinovac, which were then distributed to 13 provinces, including the capital Bangkok. An additional 1.8 million doses are scheduled to arrive in March and April.

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