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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

“Covid Vaccine ✔️” signs for vaccinated taxi drivers

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Smart Taxis will now have Covid-19 Vaccine signs. (via Smart Taxi)

At a time when customers are hard to find, some taxis are getting a boost by advertising their Covid-19 safety with a “Vaccine” sign for any cabbie who’s had their jabs. The illuminated green LED sign is the brainchild of Smart Taxi managing director, who believes that this confirmation will make commuters and passengers feel more safe and secure. He also thinks it will incentivise taxi drivers who have not yet gotten their jabs to get vaccinated right away.

And he may be right, as early results from the newly launched program saw increased ridership of the taxis with vaccine signs, bringing their earnings up to 600 baht a day. To qualify, taxi drivers have to show their official vaccine certificate to Smart Taxi. They will then be added to a database maintained by the Department of Land Transport.

The program is very small now, as the majority of taxi drivers in Thailand have only gotten one dose of the two-jab vaccination if they have any at all. But the first 2 drivers to be fully vaccinated launched May 24 and are happy with the results so far, saying that their passengers seem more confident and that the vaccine signs themselves are attracting attention and bringing in more riders.

The signs in bright green replace the “available” signs open taxis usually show with the words “Covid” and “vaccine” with a checkmark. The sign is in Thai, English, and Chinese. The program is exclusive to Smart Taxi, which operates about 5,000 taxis. The company that launched in 2018 as part of the “Taxi OK” program to improve service and safety for customers by the Department of Land Transport. The program also has its own ride-hailing app to compete with Grab and other rideshare companies.

No word yet if other companies will follow suit in displaying that their drivers are vaccinated, but Grab has been working to secure vaccines for their drivers since February and announced a goal to vaccinate all their staff by the end of 2022. The managing director of Smart Taxi believes that boosting confidence in local transportation can be a driving force in the economy and that his signs will help increase vaccine awareness as the Thai government struggles to roll out mass vaccination programmes across the country.

SOURCE: Vice and Thai PBS World

 

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Silbers

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    Great – I’ll be avoiding them like the plague!

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    I always look at the scam potential, and the scam potential is obvious. The taxi driver has not had the jabs but shows the sign.
    What they need is the sign and a photo certificate verifying vaccination of the driver displayed in the cab.
    I would not believe a Thai if they told me water was wet.

  3. Avatar

    stu

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    so im confused. i thought vaccinated individuals could still carry and transmit covid. so whats the point of this sign?

  4. Avatar

    John_2

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Seeing as there is scientific evidence of the development of animal vaccines that “SHED” i.e. are transmissible, and many reports of women having miscarriages who were in close proximity to vaccinated people – I’ll be avoiding any such taxi like the plague.

  5. Avatar

    Nigel

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    You can buy those signs in Pantip Plaza for 2,000 baht.

  6. Avatar

    Silbers

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    People in the know will avoid them and the sheep will flag them down.

  7. Avatar

    hybrid

    Friday, May 28, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    But anyone who got an mRNA vaccine is NOT safer to be around. The mRNA jabs simply mitigate the response but do not affect whether or not you’re an asymptomatic carrier.

    So it may well be more dangerous in these cabs.

  8. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 7:14 am

    This is a very poor marketing strategy. These taxis displaying this sign will be more dangerous to infecting their passengers than the ones with no signs. The drivers will act like they are invulanable, not practice washing their hands or other Covid preventive practices like disinfecting their cabs. Just because they will not seriously sick doesn’t mean they can’t infect others. Their customers generally are more well to do, educated and informed people, and will avoid using these taxis. I know I will.

  9. Avatar

    Barry

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Right. The drivers have been vaccinated. What about their passengers, possibly breathing out the virus? Why oh why can’t Thais think beyond the first step. Ever.

  10. Avatar

    Nigel

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Good question @Barry. Many such examples almost daily. Another example and a fun thing to try, is this. Ask a Thai two question at once. Such as “What time do you want to go for dinner and where shall we go? 9 out of 10 will either answer with the time OR the name of the place they want to eat 🙂

  11. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    @Nigel –

    Try mixing with more educated Thais, they do exist.

  12. Avatar

    Steven Ginn

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    How more damned stupid are things going to get before people wake up and understand that this whole load of garbage is a monumentanl scam?!
    And while we are looking at idiotic things, why aren’t HIV/AIDS drivers made to carry a sign that they can transmit their disease to others?

    Smart Taxi and Land Transport are just complete morons!

  13. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    @Steven Ginn –

    “Smart Taxi and Land Transport are just complete morons!”, you say.

    Well you can’t actually catch HIV/AIDS by just sitting in a taxi. Who is the moron now?

    People who are vaccinated are many times less likely to transmit Covid to other people so it does make sense to have a sign.

    It has been tested by a large study.

  14. Avatar

    Thomas

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    @Silbers – I’m thinking the exact same thing.

  15. Avatar

    Steven Ginn

    Monday, May 31, 2021 at 9:32 am

    @James R. Actually HIV/AIDS is transmitted by bodily fluids and CAN be transmitted in a taxi from blood left on the seats, door handles and such by previous infected passengers. So, now it makes you the moron!

    Your vaccinated muppets are still more than able to pass on the infection to others, both inside and outside a taxi and that has been medically and scientifically proven.

    Get your facts straight before you start ranting about something you have no knowledge of.

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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.

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