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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All foreigners eligible for Covid-19 vaccine under Thailand’s vaccination plan, eventually

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Vincent Vega on Flickr

All expats living in Thailand are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, according to deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun. He says Thailand plans to roll out a “massive vaccination plan” to vaccinate all people who are living in Thailand, including foreign residents.

“All people residing in Thailand, regardless of nationality, are eligible to receive the vaccine under the plan.”

He made the announcement during the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing today. Natapanu says more information on the vaccination plan for foreigners residing in Thailand will be released at a later date.

Health officials in Phuket and Koh Samui, tourist destinations that have been said to be of “economic significance,” have already been rolling out mass vaccination campaigns in an effort to reach herd immunity and reopen the islands to foreign tourists by July. But the vast majority of foreigners in the country remain confused about exactly how they can go about registering, or when they can expect to be included in Thailand’s vaccine roll out.

An expat who works as an English teacher at a school in Koh Samui says he received both doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine this month. He says the school helped with the registration process and both doses of Covid-19 vaccine were free.

 

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thomas

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Oh wow, am I “eligible”? Free vaccine??
    Thank you very much, but no thanks.

  2. Avatar

    Maverick

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Hopefully that will shut up the serial whiners and moaners – good news

  3. Avatar

    Steve

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Too bad Sinovac doesn’t actually work. Thailand needs to get Moderna and Pfizer vaccines fast or they will be left with a population that thinks it’s vaccinated when it really isn’t. Disaster…

  4. Avatar

    lolo

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Next year at best for us. Now Pfizer is talking of a third dose to fight the new strains.

    • Avatar

      Steven

      Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:36 pm

      I reckon because Phizer are selling it at over $80/vile meaning they can charge more money

  5. Avatar

    Anti immunity

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Its ok I don’t need one. Which is ok, because there are some old and weak people who might need it more than me.

    I have an older friend in usa who got vaxxed, its been about 3 weeks and Holy moly are they experiencing some bad side effects. Maybe it’s worth it, they’re a high risk group. Idk.

    I’ll take my chances. I’m young and healthy. And I likely already have covid antibodies.

    I always found this aspect to be interesting. The world has made no attempt to discover who is already immune. Just that everyone needs a vax. Its so anti science it makes me upset.

  6. Avatar

    Ian Bromley

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    No way will I accept any Chinese, Russian or locally made vaccine. So it is just a matter of waiting until an acceptable one becomes available, no matter how long is the wait.

  7. Avatar

    Bernard

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Will foreigners living in Thailand with a retirement visa be considered expatriates and will they be able to benefit from the vaccination?

  8. Avatar

    Tio

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    How does one get both doses within the same month? I thought there need to be six weeks in between?

  9. Avatar

    Gosport

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Foreigners want Pfizer, want free ride, they don’t want to go home-base to get it. If they don’t have it, they will show three fingers in Thailand. They prefer to wait and whine about they don’t get fair treatment as they could possibly get at home, but, they don’t want or dare to go home because they say they have families here or their family members won’t get vaccinated or infected during flight. What they want? a jab just, just go home get it and fly back.

  10. Avatar

    chupapi

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    great news

  11. Avatar

    David Browne

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    I wish we could buy the Pfizer or moderna vaccines here or even the astra zenneca. Many of us have the funds and being older suffer from one or more of the underlying health conditions that put us in the high risk category. I would happily pay between 20 and 40 thousand baht for one of the above and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.
    I’ve read the private sector can import them now but no more information has been forthcoming. Does anyone have any news?

  12. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Will foreigners still here on tourist VISAs be able to get vaccinated?

  13. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    You can have mine. Thanks anyway.

  14. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    “Natapanu says more information on the vaccination plan for foreigners residing in Thailand will be released at a later date.”

    Yes, then we will find out how much we will be charged.

    Don’t bet your experience will be the same as that English teacher in Phuket…obviously, there are connections.

    We know that without “connections” it will be as high as they want to make it.

  15. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    @Gosport What kind of nonsense is this? If you leave Thailand – you cannot come back easily even vaccinated.

  16. Avatar

    Hugh Kirton

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:50 am

    Brilliant news 👌
    A lot of anti forigner comments on here 🤷‍♂️
    Foreigners are humans too so calm down please
    I’m pretty sure far more thai nationals are being treated in foreign countries too. We are all in the same boat

  17. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 4:01 am

    “Does anyone have any news?”

    Yes, @David Browne.

    We’re in the same boat as everyone else in Thailand and not entitled to any special consideration.

    Shocking – how dare Thais treat us the same as them.

  18. Avatar

    Harvey

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:46 am

    It’s apparent the pandemic induced, mass psychosis spreading around the world is more of a danger than the virus itself. No better indicator than the uncontrolled violence in menially unstable USA.

  19. Avatar

    Buttaxe

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 10:17 am

    @ Small Simon I guess you missed the tourism stimulus program last year, you now the one that excluded Farang, and dual-pricing everywhere – did that go right over your head? If you arrived last week, that’s forgivable, if not then you’ve just made a fool of yourself.

  20. Avatar

    Maverick

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 10:17 am

    @Steve – working well enough in UAE

  21. Avatar

    Maverick

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 10:19 am

    @Anti immunity – stay away from the elderly and vulnerable please

  22. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    “Will foreigners still here on tourist VISAs be able to get vaccinated?”

    Able to get vaccinated, @svc, or able to get vaccinated free?

    My guess, FWIW, is that given how it’s usually phrased foreigners here covered by Thai SS (with a work permit, worker amnesty, etc) will definitely get vaccinated free.

    Those “living here” (retirees, those with pink cards, etc) will probably get vaccinated free.

    Those who are “tourists”, so not “living here” are unlikely to get vaccinated free, so they / you will have the choice of Sinovac / AZ at a government hospital for a few hundred baht or your choice at a private hospital for a few thousand.

    I can’t see Thailand giving vaccines they’ve bought and paid for away free to “tourists” as that could potentially open the doors to anyone from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, etc, including farangs, coming across the border just to get vaccinated rather than wait for a Covax jab which those countries will get for free.

    It’s simple economics, tourists can easily afford it (or should be able to) and rightly or wrongly some foreigners aren’t doing the others any favours with their antics, grand-standing and comments here and elsewhere.

    Only a guess, though.

  23. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    “@ Small Simon I guess you missed the tourism stimulus program last year, you now the one that excluded Farang” etc

    No, @Buttaxe, I didn’t “miss” it, I just don’t see any connection between that and the vaccination programme, or any relevance, any more than I do between any of the countless other things farangs are excluded from but Thais aren’t and vice-versa.

    I guess you missed not only the question I was replying to, but the headline and the subject of the article as well.

    Oh well, maybe next time …

  24. Avatar

    Bob

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 12:27 am

    I will say what most people here want to say but don’t want to say.

    This pandemic is all a media created hysteria. With 99.5% survival rate for covid and to take an experimental “vaccine” that is by no means safe, even by Western standards that may possibly maim you or injure you for life with the side effects – no thank you, I will rather take my chances with Covid.

    I will not be taking a vaccine, especially it being offered to be “free” for foreigners should already raise alot of suspicion here. Nothing is free, especially in this country.

    The fact that “they” are so eager to vaccinate the whole population of Phuket and eventually Thailand should raise some question marks here as well.

    The lockdowns of restaurants have bankrupted a lot of businesses here already for the past year especially in the restaurant industry. You are already seeing the psychological effects of the suicide rates in this country going up due to the economic fallout caused – especially in a third world country like Thailand – , i doubt this vaccine will do anything, especially seeing the absolutely horrendous side effects of it.

    This pandemic was not even about the virus, it is about censorship, control and power over people so we can live in more fear (surprise surprise). So much potential wasted, we need to wake up now and start seeing what is really going on here.

  25. Avatar

    Phangan Spouse

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:19 am

    We legit got told that batch of vaccines was roll-outed to cover Phangan as well but it seems they all exclusively went to Samui.

  26. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 8:57 am

    How is Thai so far behind squiring and distributing vaccines? Why are we stuck with Chinese surplus? Why can’t foreign companies acquire vaccines? Is Phuket more important than the giant auto industry? Will a certain politician lose face if Toyota can aquire vaccine in a few days while government struggles with this year? Telling us that farang will receive a shot is all well and good,,, but when?

    And let’s not point fingers without exposing some other losers who are doing much worse. Canada for example where Covid is killing tens of thousands under Justin Trudeaus Liberal Party. It’s a rich country disgrace. No vaccines while just a five minute drive away in the United States they’re giving away free vaccines. However, Trudeau penalizes Canadians who cross the border .

  27. Avatar

    TS

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 10:06 am

    personally, don’t want anything that may or may not be on offer here free or otherwise but I do hope something, anything that’s effective becomes available to those who do. Not just random promises of delivery dates from smirk & co. I want to go back to US, get the genuine Pfizer vaccs. then come back here with proof and negative test with no days quarantine in plenty of time to witness the Thai moon rocket liftoff. That’s not going to happen, i know. No tourists will be coming and too much money to be made off AQS

  28. Avatar

    Spouse in the South

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    @Maverick – It doesn’t cover non-imm O (family/spouse) so it’s only good news for people with fake work permits and english teachers who bought their degrees from ebay, People with families who pour way more money than your minimum tax into LoS are not able to register.

  29. Avatar

    no amused

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    ‘All foreigners” is a very misleading headline as so far I don’t know anybody on a non-imm O able to register. And you don’t mention that in your article.

  30. Avatar

    Bad Spotted Dog

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 11:04 am

    No thanks. Give mine to someone else please.

  31. Avatar

    Derek Munro

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 12:28 am

    @Maverick – 44000 Thais in UK and being vaccinated already. Been to 2 hospitals with my wife for when expats will be done. Neither hospital has a clue and will only be after Thas done. So much for the Thai Government’s assurance all expats are included in the vaccination program. As normal they try to look good to the World but dont back their words

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Koh Samui. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket visitor Covid-19 rapid antigen testing may end May 15

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 rapid tests may be discontinued in Phuket. (via Wikimedia)

In a live broadcast, Phuket’s Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong said officials will consider discontinuing Covid-19 rapid antigen testing for people arriving into Phuket after May 15. The interview from the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai yesterday seems to contradict a recent statement from the governor launching additional rapid testing from today.

Entry to Phuket since April 22 has been limited for travellers from red zone provinces, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Anyone arriving without either of these would be screened on the spot with rapid antigen tests. Though originally offered for 300 baht per person, controversy arose over Thailand’s 2-tier pricing as it was announced that testing would be free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

The National Health Security Office provided 40 billion baht for testing in Phuket, allowing free testing for nationals, but as that funding is used up, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced that the testing will no longer be free for Thai people after May 15. Phuket does not have the budget for free rapid antigen testing so they will likely be forced to require payment after that date.

The current testing has seen a decline in positive Covid-19 infections, not finding any new cases for several days, prompting the government to rethink whether the current system of rapid testing those who are not vaccinated or holding a recent negative test certificate is worth the money spent.

Over 40,000 people have been tested since the program began April 22 until the current figures on May 5, with only 22 covid infections identified. Furthermore, 5 of those infections turned out to be false positives.

The vice-governor conceded that Phuket has Covid-19 outbreak problems with growing infections every day, but explains that the infections are from within the community and not from outside visitors. The latest infections stem in large part from gambling get-togethers without proper Covid-19 safety.

As of now, the rapid antigen testing will continue until the May 15 cut off, but government officials are still debating whether to continue testing and whether funding will exist for it after that date.

The NHSO has recently hinted that they will approve more funds to continue testing, a signal that had not been received before the governor’s announcement on Wednesday about the rapid antigen testing.

The vice-governor stressed that the situation is constantly evolving and that new information it’s shared frequently, and often out of local control. He urges everyone to pay attention to forthcoming announcements.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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