Thailand kicks off Covid-19 vaccine programme with Sinovac shots

  • Thailand started rolling out its Covid-19 inoculation programme with Sinovac’s vaccine as the South-east Asian nation tries to revive its pandemic-hit tourism industry.
  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on 28 Feb 21 presided over the kickoff of the programme, with a group of healthcare workers receiving the vaccine, state-owned NBT television network showed in a national live broadcast.
  • Mr Prayut was not vaccinated on 28 Feb 21 as earlier planned because the Sinovac is not recommended for people of his age, Dr Opas Kankawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department, told a briefing on 27 Feb 21.
  • South-east Asia’s second-biggest economy aims to inoculate 50% of its population by the end of 2021 as the government tries to reopen its borders, which have been closed for almost a year to curb the outbreak. The government has also approved AstraZeneca’s vaccine and has ordered 61 million doses.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and four other ministers received the Sinovac shot on 28 Feb 21. AstraZeneca’s vaccine arrived in Thailand on 24 Feb 21 but the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company still needs to complete the quality-assurance process, it said in a statement on 27 Feb 21.

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