Anutin Gets First COVID-19 Vaccine As Rollout Begins

Anutin Charnvirakul

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul became the first person in Thailand to get the  COVID-19 vaccine this morning as the kingdom rolled out the COVID-19 vaccination program.

The event, which began at 7.30 am, was chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. It was held at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Tivanon Road in Nonthaburi.

The person who gave Mr Charnvirakul the first COVID-19 shot in the arm was Dr Yong Yong Poovorawan, a medical professor in pediatric hepatology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University.

The vaccine given to Mr Charnvirakul is the Chinese-made CoronaVac developed by Sinovac Life Sciences, which can be used on people aged 18-59.

Mr Charnvirakul said on Saturday that Gen Chan-o-cha could not get the first shot at the discretion of doctors. Gen Chan-o-cha is 66.

He explained that AstraZeneca vaccine, which was shipped to Thailand on 24th February, has not been endorsed by the Medical Science Department. “AstraZeneca has yet to submit documents and samples,” he said.

Other people that received the jab after Mr Charnvirakul were Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha, Culture Minister Attipol Khunpluem, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Wilawan, and permanent secretary for health Dr Kiatiphum Wongrajit, followed by a number of health personnel.