Thailand begins COVID-19 vaccinations hinh anh 1CoronaVac is developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand kicked off its COVID-19 inoculation campaign on February 28, with cabinet ministers, health officials and medical professionals among the first in the queue to receive vaccinations.

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.

Anutin Charnvirakuk hoped that the vaccination will result in people being safe from the spread of COVID-19 and it allows Thailand to return to normal as soon as possible.

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, which have been distributed to 13 high-risk provinces. Thailand will receive additional 1.8 million CoronaVac in March and April.

Thailand is expected to take delivery of 17,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in the second week of March.

To date, Thailand has not recorded any new outbreak. Total infections in the nation remain at more than 25,000.

The Thai government said it had a plan to vaccinate half of the nation’s population this year./.