Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul became the first person in the country to get a shot of vaccine against the novel coronavirus on Sunday morning when Thailand rolled out Covid-19 vaccinations for the first time.
Mr Anutin received the vaccination at 7.30am at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Tivanon Road in Nonthaburi, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in attendance.
The shot was administered to Mr Anutin’s arm by Dr Yong Poovorawan, a medical professor in pediatric hepatology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University. It was the Chinese-made CoronaVac formula developed by Sinovac Life Sciences, which has been judged safe for people aged 18-59.
Mr Anutin said on Saturday that doctors determined that at age 66, Gen Prayut should not get the first shot.
He explained that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was arrived in Thailand on Feb 24, had yet to be endorsed by the Medical Science Department. “AstraZeneca has yet to submit documents and samples,” he said.
Following Mr Anutin, other people who received vaccinations were Deputy Phublic Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha, Culture Minister Attipol Khunplome, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Wilawan and permanent secretary for health Dr Kiatiphum Wongrajit. A number of health professionals also got the jab.
More than 236 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have already been administered in 103 countries around the world.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul gets Thailand’s first shot of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine against Covid-19 on Sunday at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi. (Photo from Anutin Charnvirakul Facebook account)