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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Everything you need to know about Covid vaccines in Thailand right now

Tim Newton

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Which Covid vaccines are available in Thailand?

Thailand’s FDA has licensed 3 Covid-19 vaccines – AztraZeneca/Oxford University, Sinovac from China and Johnson Johnson. Only the AztraZenaca and Sinovac vaccines are currently delivered and available in Thailand at this time. Others will likely be approved for use in Thailand in the next few months, including the Pfizer/Moderna mRNA vaccine (paperwork submitted) and Sputnik V from Russia.

Who imports the vaccines?

The Thai Government imports all vaccines and organises the distribution throughout the country. At this stage they have prevented private institutions or private hospitals from independently importing Covid vaccines. That situation could change as the government have publicised mixed messages about the issue in the past.

Who is receiving the vaccine now?

Whilst there has been delivery and distribution of vaccines up to date, there are more on the way with the intention of vaccinating around 70% of the Thai population by the end of the year. Only in Phuket has there been any major vaccination where a reported 22% of the island’s population has received at least one dose. The second most vaccinated province is Samut Sakhon, the hotzone for the late December 2020 outbreak. The rest of the country is still sitting at around 1% or less.

Are the vaccines safe?

Based on the evidence available, and the nearly 1.2 billion people now vaccinated, yes. Despite some noise on the internet, the vast majority of people receiving the approved vaccines for Covid 19 are not displaying any concerning side effects following vaccination. Like all vaccines, there will be a small number of people with adverse reactions but the numbers are statistically negligible compared to the risks of not having a vaccine at all.

Leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic there had been a lot of work done to research vaccines for coronaviruses. The onset of a worldwide pandemic certainly hastened a lot of the research and hardworking that had already been done. So the normal lead time for a completely new vaccine was drastically shortened.

As of today (May 6), 1.16 billion people in the world have now been vaccinated – well on the way to a major milestone in the fight against Covid-19.

Be careful when consuming information on the internet and check the source of the information. If you have never heard of the source of the information before, Google them and check their credentials. There is, sadly, a lot of nonsense being published across the internet. Caveat emptor.

Who is being targeted for vaccination?

Healthcare professionals and people in the healthcare sector, populations in outbreak areas, elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions. The vast majority of people are Thai with only a small group of expats vaccinated – mostly working in the education sector.

The news for foreigners receiving a vaccination keeps changing. As it stands the foreign population are at the bottom of the list with no definitive policy on how or when Thailand’s foreign population will be vaccinated.

What does the vaccination cost?

The vaccine is free to Thais, fully paid for by the Thai government through its public health system. There are no privately available vaccines at the moment, for payment or otherwise.

When will expats be able to expect the vaccine?

We simply don’t know at the moment. The situation is very dynamic with foreign embassies being challenged to help their citizens. At this stage they are refusing to provide any assistance, across the board, regarding helping with vaccination of their citizens.

The Thaiger will report the latest information about this issue, accurately and in a timely manner.

Can I still go to hospital or clinics for other medical situations?

Absolutely. And you should still keep any regular appointment you may have had before this current outbreak. But it’s also a good time to think ahead and stock up on any vital medications and keep the phone number of your physician at hand. Take appropriate precaution if you need to visit a Thai hospital at this time and understand that there may be longer waiting times than usual.

If you have private health insurance you should be using the services of a private hospital at this time rather than overloading Thailand’s public health system.

Can I travel to Thailand at this time?

Yes. There are visas available and the borders are technically “open”. But there are still hoops to jump through and paperwork to prepare. DON’T make any booking for flights or ASQ hotels, or anything else for that matter, until you have spoken to the Thai embassy in your home country, even if you intend to travel from another part of the world.

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    John_2

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:13 am

    “Are the vaccines safe? Yes”

    You really can’t make that statement regarding mRNA vaccines as they have never passed testing approval. Their long-term effects is unknown at this point in time.

  2. Avatar

    Buttaxe

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Well, all WE need to know is it’s not available to us, so I for one will stop reading about this subject.

  3. Avatar

    Anne Frank Covid 19

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Tim Newton has given his word that these vaccines are safe. We won’t forget that.

    Go to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and look at the carnage. This system can only be accessed by a medical professional. There are currently 3,000 deaths and 10’s of thousands of severe reactions that have been reported. Most people who are really open to getting the vaccine don’t even report it.

    Well meaning people will read Tim Newton’s post and take the vaccine and there will no doubt be negative reactions.

  4. Avatar

    Anne Frank

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:46 am

    In New Zealand “front line workers” are being moved out of their jobs and given heavy fines for not taking a vaccine that was never passed through the FDA but was allowed to be released through emergency status.

    The people who do not want the vaccine are less agreeable and often of a different political perspective. This is a means of moving a large segment of the population out of citizenship.

    Ever read Orwell? Of course you have. Why can’t you see?

  5. Avatar

    Anne Frank

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:47 am

    @John_2 – Time Newton doesn’t need long term studies in order to put his name on the line. He should spend some time looking at VAERS first.

  6. Avatar

    Dan

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Agree with the comment: Chinese and Russian vaccines have not been approved yet by the OMS, so please be cautious about that.

    Second: WE ARE NOT TOURISTS ON HOLIDAYS!!!!! We are legal workers residing in this country: why should we be treated like this?????
    This word “expats” treated like a kind of illegal people without rights is outrageous.
    WE PAY TAXES, treat us fairly and with respect.
    I cannot think of any country in the world that denies rights to people working legally and paying taxes in it.

  7. Avatar

    Graham Walker

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Don’t forget to mention that all MP’s have had the limited vaccinations in Thailand (how they became front line worker’s is beyond me).

  8. Avatar

    Slugger

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:59 am

    A seven word article fluffed out to make a page. I.e. ‘Which vaccines are available?’ ‘AZ and Sinovac.’ Job done.

  9. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    @ John-2

    Read the whole paragraph, not only the part you want to disagree with.

    To date, the vaccines are safe, without any major problems. TODAY.

    What the future holds, even you don’t know.

  10. Avatar

    Biologist

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Sorry but wrong, they are approved in USA and many other countries.

  11. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    “WE ARE NOT TOURISTS ON HOLIDAYS!!!!! ”

    Some of “us” reading and commenting here very clearly are, @Dan! (!!!!)

    “why should we be treated like this?????”

    Like what? (????)

    As badly as Thais? (????)

    Because “we” chose to come here and can choose to leave? (????)

    “This word “expats” treated like a kind of illegal people without rights is outrageous”

    “without rights”? (????) Since when? (????)

    “WE PAY TAXES, treat us fairly and with respect.”

    DO WE? (????) You might.

    “I cannot think of any country in the world that denies rights to people working legally and paying taxes in it.”

    You can’t have thought very hard, @Dan. Very few countries in the world give foreigners “working legally and paying taxes” the same rights as either permanent residents or their own citizens – the UK, for example, charges them an annual NHS surcharge to get full access to NHS treatment, whether they use it or not.

  12. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    “… there are more on the way with the intention of vaccinating around 70% of the Thai population by the end of the year.”

    If what the CCSA and the TAT have said is correct (IF), the percentage of the expat population due to be vaccinated by the end of the year, if not sooner, is far higher than the “70% of the Thai population” given the numbers living in the priority “sandboxes”, and the numbers aged over 60 and with medical conditions, as well as the numbers who can afford to buy vaccines when available.

    Lucky old expats! (!!!! – as long as they’re “NOT TOURISTS!!!!!)

  13. Avatar

    Buttaxe

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    @ ‘Sim on Small”: You, Isaan John, really are the equivalent of an Uncle Tom, perpetually gratefully for your second-class status.

  14. Avatar

    Singharacha

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    TheTaiger wrote : ” If you have never heard of the source of the information before, Google them and check their credentials. ”

    Don’t use Google if you want reliable sources of information !

  15. Avatar

    Singharacha

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    @John_2
    You wrote :
    “Are the vaccines safe? Yes”
    You really can’t make that statement regarding mRNA vaccines as they have never passed testing approval. Their long-term effects is unknown at this point in time.”

    You’re right.

    RNAmessenger based so-called “vaccines” are genetic engineering products.
    They are still experimental.
    Not only are there many deaths and irreversible side effects because of them but, as you say: Their long-term effects is unknown at this point in time.

  16. Avatar

    I do not consent

    Monday, May 10, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Wow, its good to know that some people residing in this country have a brain! Yes, MRNA gene therapy is NOT a vaccine. There are reports of paralysis, bells palsy, miscarriage, blindness and even death! Perfectly healthy people who are young. You are the experiment. Turn off the tv and do your research into the patents and technologies that are being used to manipulate the human genome.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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