Coronavirus (Covid-19)PoliticsThailand

American expats to US government: give us vaccines!

With the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman, a collection of high-profile American expats living in Thailand released an open letter asking for Covid-19 vaccines. The letter pled with the US government to include arrangements to guarantee vaccines to all US expats in the kingdom.

“Don’t abandon us! The US continues to have a growing vaccine surplus, yet many Americans abroad are still without access to vaccines and their lives are at risk.”

The letter is a collaboration between Democrats Abroad Thailand chair Paul Risley, Republicans Overseas Asia vice president Tony Rodriguez, American Women’s Club of Thailand president Ambreen Miraly, and Veterans of Foreign Wars commander Carl Manchester. The groups are advocating for vaccines for expats who are struggling to get access during Thailand’s slow rollout. While only 3.5% of people in Thailand have been vaccinated, more than half the people in the US have received 1 jab and 40% have been fully vaccinated.

Surmising that talks between PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Secretary Sherman would include plenty of discussion of the US helping Thailand with procuring vaccines, the letter pushed to include an allotment for American citizens as part of the agreement. The US pledged US $30 million in Covid-19 vaccine aid and cited its surplus of vaccines and intention to distribute them to countries struggling to inoculate their population.

The letter observed that as China supplies a majority of vaccines to Thailand, they included in their recent donation a provision guaranteeing Chinese citizens access to be vaccinated. The American groups urge a similar clause in aid from the United States. They made a point that the US government charges taxes to its citizens, even when they live abroad, a policy different from almost every other country in the world and as such deserve access to the taxpayer-funded vaccines all other Americans are receiving.

On the Democrats Abroad website, an article urges Americans to use the #TaxedButNotVaxxed hashtag on social media and includes a form letter to send to government representatives. The letter acknowledges President Biden’s frequent words about all Americans working together and getting vaccinated, and highlights vaccines made available to US State Department staff worldwide, veterans in Manila, and plans to vaccinate South Korean soldiers.

The letter asks for vaccines for all of the 9 million Americans living overseas and asks that US vaccine surplus donations to countries should include vaccines for US citizens. The article quoted Joe Biden in a recent speech where he stressed that all Americans around the world are dealing with Covid-19 together.

“Let’s remember, we’re all Americans. Let’s remember that we are all in this together…And we have to take this pandemic, tackle it not just here, but overseas as well to truly be safe in the long run.”

For more discussion and insight into the American expats’ struggle for help getting vaccinated, check out today’s episode of Good Morning Thailand where Tim and Bill discuss the matter with their guest Peter from Democrats Aboard.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.


  1. Dear Mr Morrison, please continue with your ass licking practice of pouring millions of dollars into countries that you feel you can gain the most benefit from by doing so. I’ll be just fine here in Thailand with no access to a vaccine. I’m turning 54 this year and I’ve only ever had cancer once and 7 heart attacks, so all said. P.S. tell your mum I said hello. Bye for now.

  2. Any recieving of advance vaccines from or by foreign sources will make the thin skinned current mob look like fools. They’d rather you die than be shown up for the incompetance boobs they are. It’s all about ‘face’ and ‘tea money’ on the crooked road to understanding Thailand.

  3. The best medical advice these expats could use is the same advice we’ve been hearing for years: loss weight, stop smoking, wear a rubber. Do these things and eliminate 90% of health problems, also dramatically increase your already very high chance of surviving covid infection.

    Beyond that, turn off the news media cause it’s just become an unprofessional obsession with things that don’t really effect you.

  4. i am a retired american veteran served in the us army during vietnam war. I don’t trust the us govt or the thai govt to get there shit together quickly to vaccinate american citizens here. I am booking a flight home in june to get vaccinated. I am so tired of the bullshit that changes daily for the last 2 months from the the thai govt. I am sur e that the american govt can change the situation in thailand faster and
    better than the chinese communist govt even though they were first to respond. No more bullshit I want to see some action and quickly

  5. “Any recieving of advance vaccines from or by foreign sources will make the thin skinned current mob look like fools.”

    Where the hell do you think all the Covid vaccines here so far come from if not “foreign sources”?

    … and if you’re only referring to donated vaccines, then where the hell do you think the donated Sinovac comes from?

    Few of your comments are thought through or rational, but this is absurd even by your standards.

  6. I cant stop laughing my t*ts off at these Yanks who were so happy to move here but now are crying that the country they did not want to remain in is not interested in them. You chose to live here, so you must live like the rest of the population.

  7. Disgusting and greedy this Thai government. Australua, Europe and USA pay all the vaccination for Thailand and the Westener who pay double tax one time in Thailand and one time in USA , etc have to beg for vaccines that we already pay for them with our tax money. Also their cheating in trade agreements with europe is disgusting, they not pay customs or tax but charge for import german products like a Mercedes more than 200% tax/customs. I think it is time to tell them for the bill like pay your depth from Thai air, taxes you ow us , taxes in Bavaria til today not paid and so one. They owe us a lot not we them!

  8. Rick, whose been dumbed down? (…beg a criminal government for poison experimental jabs.)

    Keep drinking that conspiracy koolaid and you’ll be begging for a vax if you catch the covid. You (effing) wack job.

  9. As Expats, I don’t understand wanting the benefits but not accepting the downside of living abroad; you’re not number 1.

    In the U.S. last year, there were states that did not prioritize immigrants (legal or illegal) for vaccinations. That deplorable attitude is also seen in other countries around the world. I’m sorry, but people are hateful sometimes.

    Stay safe and wait your turn or return to your country (I presume those from Australia won’t be able to return) and get vaccinated. Whether you’ll be able to return to Thailand is another story (I presume so).

  10. “The Thai government cannot prevent them. The Chinese government has already supplied and vaccinated vaccines for all its expats in Thailand.”

    Of course the Thai government can “prevent them” – what an absurd, uninformed statement.

    Thailand isn’t an American state, and Thailand has absolute control over what vaccines it allows in.

    Yes, “The Chinese government has already supplied and vaccinated vaccines for all its expats in Thailand” but that was with Thailand’s agreement and in return for 500,000 doses of Sinovac of which 100,000 were to be given to expat Chinese in Thailand.

    If America were to make the same offer then I’m sure Thailand would agree in the same way, but the idea that “the Thai government cannot prevent them” if America doesn’t have a similar agreement but they just decide to vaccinate all their citizens in Thailand anyway contary to Thai law is simply wrong.

    Tim, you need to control your interns / cub reporters as recently they’ve started to make you look a prat.

  11. I don’t see why the US couldn’t just send a small shipment of vaccines directly to the US Embassy for distribution to registered expats. Any country with a diplomatic presence on foreign soil could do the same.

  12. Us nationals still have to pay federal taxes when living and working overseas unlike the nationals of many other foreign countries.
    They have every right to demand the us government do something for all the tax dollars they collect off them.

  13. If Americans here want a shot, they are free to go back to the US and get one like all other US tax payers. Services provided by US Embassies are quite limited and almost nothing is free. They never provided any kind of medical care. Why should Covid vaccine be any different? Lastly, under the double taxation treaty, Americans in Thailand (in general) don’t pay US income taxes unless their income exceeds around US$100K per year, provided they pay Thai income tax. Still have to file the tax returns, even if nothing is owed. I got my US$2K stimulus money and that’s enough government help for me. I’ll sort out the vaccine for myself, same as everything else.

  14. Once an American leave the US you are no longer considered a US citizen. Don’t believe me? Try using your Medicare overseas. You can’t. Try opening, or even maintaining, a US bank account without an official US address…you can’t. The examples of the injustices are interminable. In the dawn of my overseas career, the “old timers” would suggest that if one got into trouble in a foreign country it was useless to go to the US Embassy for assistance. They suggested a better choice would be to go to the Soviet Embassy…they would happy to assist an American in distress.

  15. @Simon Small – you are an uneducated low life person who has no knowledge of Thailand or the world! Australia, Europe and USA paid the vaccination of Thailand with millions and millions of dollars and euro they gave for the vaccination help. Empty heads like you who know nothing but have a daily big mouth.

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