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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai businesses frustrated over limited choice of vaccines, slow pace of rollout

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Pixabay

Business and tourism representatives are expressing growing anger over the slow pace of Thailand’s vaccine rollout and the limited number of vaccines on offer. Their frustration comes as other countries around the world begin to see encouraging results from their vaccination efforts. And, while the latest rise in Covid-19 infections can be partly attributed to the presence of the so-called UK variant, businesses say the biggest factor is the government’s failure to vaccinate people sooner.

The Bangkok Post reports that, by April 7, only 323,989 vaccine doses had been administered in Thailand. That equates to half a dose per 100 people. A University of Oxford project – Our World in Data – shows that only 0.4% of the Thai population has been vaccinated so far.

Thailand is in 8th position among the ASEAN nations, behind Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Israel leads worldwide, having administered 114 doses per 100 people, with 59% of the population vaccinated.

So far, Thailand is wholly reliant on just 2 vaccine suppliers: the Chinese-made Sinovac and AstraZeneca. 2 million doses of Sinovac and 61 million of AstraZeneca have been ordered. However, in an unprecedented admission, a top disease prevention official in China recently described the effectiveness of the country’s vaccines as low.

Tourism representatives in Thailand say there is already growing concern about the effectiveness of the vaccines being used. Nantanittaya Sesaweech from the Horizon Village and Resort in Chiang Mai, says having more choice will boost people’s confidence, adding that people who can afford to pay for them should have the option of doing so through the private sector.

“Even though the government rolled out a re-opening timeline for international tourists, which may have sparked hopes for operators, there is no concrete plan to adequately distribute vaccines to local populations. There is no hope for us until mass inoculation actually begins.”

Charintip Tiyaphorn from the Pimalai Resort and Spa on the island of Koh Lanta in Krabi, says the planned re-opening to vaccinated tourists could be delayed if the country remains dependent on government vaccines.

“Vaccines are the only way to get ahead of the pandemic and allow tourism to survive. Mass vaccinations will help accelerate the re-opening process, which projected being fully open by January next year.”

That sentiment is echoed by Supant Mongkolsuthree from the Federation of Thai Industries, who says the government must fast track vaccine supplies for the private sector.

“We have to admit the government is too slow in distributing vaccines. We want less legal regulations, especially those involving the Food and Drug Administration, to quickly acquire vaccines from abroad.”

Last week, the government confirmed that private hospitals would be allowed to procure and administer up to 10 million vaccine doses. But with demand outstripping supply worldwide, the issue now will be getting them.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:37 am

    There can only be one reason to limit private hospitals to 10 million doses, and no-one’s going to accept that once the hospitals get vaccines then run out.

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Thailand acts like the big boy in the playground in this area, buying submarines, planning to send satellites into space, planning to build a K100 canal costing $28 billion, yet when they are put to the test, they are far behind providing essential vaccinations compared to their neighbours.
    Basically they are just peasants who had the luck to attract foreign tourists and investment, which made them rich.

    • Thaiger


      Monday, April 12, 2021 at 12:13 pm

      Good lord. You get out of the wrong side of the bed today?

  3. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Why? Why? Why is the government so enthusiastic about purchasing the Chinese Sinovac vaccine when it’s efficacy is so low, even by Chinese official’s admission, compared to other vaccines?

  4. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    0.4% thai vaccinated? But PM and other gov members have been already vaccinated so what’s the problem?

  5. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Thailand’s “neighbours” (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, etc) are getting their vaccines free, from China or Covax, not because they bought or ordered them. Their medium / long term supply is likely to be little better, maybe worse.

  6. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    the Thai government will not be able to vaccinate its subjects quickly, fellow Chinese dictators have not been able to create an effective vaccine, I foresee the opening of international tourism in the summer of 2022, probably without Chinese.

  7. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    Thaiger they deserve worse considering their pitiful level of vaccinations. It is no less than a scandal.
    A crime. Lives are being destroyed because of a gang of Thai clowns running the country
    0.7 percent!!!
    On March 20 Thailand received 800.000 doses of vaccine from China, yet Thailand has only vaccinated 555.000.
    Thailand already had other vaccines. 117.300 0f the Astra/Zeneka vaccine, and previously received 200.000 of the Seneca vaccine
    So why the delay?

  8. Avatar

    Kuhn David

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Let’s face it, it’s a friggin’ mess and with the current leaders making irresponsible decisions, it will only get worse. I wonder if Government Leaders truly care about their constituents, I fear not. Sunsabitches.

  9. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    No one got up on the wrong side of bed Thai-durrr. People don’t want to die because of ineptness and neglect. What’s with the editorial comment…Amatures.

  10. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    A further problem is there is a report published on Sky News where the top Chinese officials state the vaccines they have developed have low rates of efficacy with the Sinovac giving only 49.1% protection.

    I think this is the vaccine Thailand is using mostly?

  11. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:11 pm


    Toby gets outside of bed in the morning on the wring side of the border in Cambodia.

    According to Issan John he was kicked out of Thailand due to visa problems and since then has been at daily war with Thailand via your web site.

    He does make me laugh though.

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