A successful rollout of the vaccination program raises hope of beating the coronavirus pandemic.
Thailand achieved its goal of administering over 300,000 doses of COVID-19 jabs on the first day of its nationwide mass vaccination campaign. As of 4:00 p.m. Monday, health officials had served 306,580 shots nationwide, said Permanent Secretary of Public Health Kiattiphum Wongrajit.
However, the figure does not include vaccines administered in Bangkok.
Later on Monday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration reported that 11,352 residents had received their first dose. Inoculations were performed with locally-produced Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.
The government expects to administer the first vaccine doses – both require two doses to be fully effective – in late September.
The atmosphere of nervous excitement spread throughout the country, with people following pandemic protocols and behaving well to receive the shots that could represent the relief and recovery era’s arrival. Bang Sue center alone expected to have delivered 10,000 jabs by the end of the first vaccination day, an official said.
Marking the nationwide COVID-19 campaign’s successful rollout, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wrote on Facebook that the battle was still ongoing.
However, the country has vaccines as its best hope to reverse the situation, he said, adding: “Vaccines will be the key to reopening the country to tourism, to rehabilitating the economy and to returning normalcy.”
“Vaccines will be the force to drive the country forward with security and sustainability,” he went on.
Gen Prayut also ensured that the vaccine rollout would meet established guidelines to ensure fair access. Besides, he said that those who booked the jab would be inoculated with minimal delays amid reports that some provinces would receive fewer doses than expected due to changes in the distribution plan.
“June 7, 2021 will go down in history as one of the important days in the country’s fight against the pandemic,” the prime minister wrote.
“It marks the beginning of Thais striking back [against Covid-19]… and that we will not give up the fight until we win,” he added. Moreover, he said that between 3.5 million and 4 million vaccine doses would be delivered this month based on current needs and supplies in each area.