SAMUT PRAKAN: The first 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine arrived from China and was received by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and high-level officials at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday morning.
A Thai Airways International plane carrying the vaccine from Beijing landed at the airport at 10.05am.
"Today is a historic day with the reception of the first lot of vaccine... The government has tried its best to receive vaccine as scheduled... Without any unexpected problems, subsequent lots will arrive as planned. We will have enough vaccine to develop herd immunity," Gen Prayut said.
Relevant officials would decide who will be inoculated first, he said.
The shipment was a part of 2 million doses, worth 1.2 billion baht, the government ordered from Sinovac Life Sciences Co of China. The 200,000 doses will be stored and checked in a warehouse until Friday.
On Saturday they will be delivered to specific hospitals, with inoculations set to start next Monday.
Initial vaccination will cover medical personnel and people aged 18-59 in 13 provinces targeted for Covid-19 control and economic support.
They are Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi, Chon Buri, Phuket, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai.
At the reception ceremony, Chinese chargé d'affaires Yang Xin said the delivery reflected the close relationship between the two countries.
Thailand is to receive 800,000 more doses of Sinovac vaccine in March and 1 million more in April.