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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

5.7% of foreign residents in Thailand have received a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Photo via Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

Around 5.7% of foreign residents in Thailand have been injected with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine from March 12 to July 30, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Out of the 280,075 foreign residents vaccinated, only 74,587 of them have received both doses of the vaccine.

Only 20,903 foreign residents ages 60 and above, a priority group in the immunisation campaign, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The average age the foreign residents vaccinated so far is about 38 years old and majority are from Myanmar.

Some have questioned the low average age as the Thai government has said those over 60 years old will be given priority. The reason for the low number is that many migrant workers at construction camps and factories, where cluster outbreaks were reported, were also given priority, according to Information News Division director Pensom Lertsithichai, who gave the today’s CCSA report in English.

“We have had clusters of infections in construction sites and factories.”

Earlier on in the immunisation campaign, the Thai government accelerated vaccinations on Phuket and Koh Samui, top tourist destinations said to be of “economic significance,” to prepare for the July reopenings to travellers from overseas under the “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes.

With the surge of Covid-19 infections, and the emergence of the Delta variant, the Thai government shifted its focus to inoculate those a high risk in Bangkok, the epicentre of the latest wave. Along with those in high risk areas, priority was given to those who are 60 years old and above, pregnant women, and those with one of the specified underlying conditions that puts them at risk of a severe infection if they were to contract Covid-19.

Foreign residents who have been vaccinated so far include diplomats, foreign media, those involved with international organisations, and those in priority groups. Many expats who work as English teachers have been vaccinated and say registration was set up through their employers.

Registration for the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is now open for foreign residents 18 and up, but priority will still be given to those 60 and up, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women.

In the Thai government’s campaign, foreigners are eligable for free doses of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac vaccines. Out of the 1.5 million Pfizer doses donated to Thailand from the United States, 150,000 doses are allocated to foreign residents.

Go to expatvac.consular.go.th to resgister. Expats in one of the priority groups can also go to ThailandIntervac.com for direct links to hospitals open for registration.

 

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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