Thailand plans to include 3 million foreigners in mass vaccination program
The Thai government says it is planning on including 3 million foreigners in its mass Covid-19 vaccination program in an effort to protect the entire population. Opas Kankawinpong, the head of the disease control department, has confirmed the news, saying that anyone can get the vaccine if they want it.
“Anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreign, if they want they vaccine, they can get it. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”
But the announcement is also peppered with caveats, including that foreigners will have to wait their turn. (The Thaiger will publish all the latest information from the government about foreigners registering for vaccines)
Expats have been voicing their concerns in the past few weeks about, what they say, is a lack of public information, confusion over private vaccines, and problems registering on apps. The mass immunisation program hasn’t started yet, but the government is sticking to its previous announcement that major tourism areas will open in July to vaccinated travellers.
The plan was contingent upon 70% of local residents being vaccinated in order to achieve a herd immunity to the virus. But 50 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents would need to be inoculated over the next few months.
Anxiety over the massive amount of people who have yet to receive even their first dose is growing, as the country deals with its largest outbreak of Covid since the pandemic began. Reports of only frontline workers as having received the vaccines from the stock of 2.5 million Sinovac vaccines, have left critics saying that the government’s slow vaccine rollout is not helping the latest wave.
Meanwhile, another 1 million Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses from China arrived in Thailand while another batch of 500,000 doses will arrive next week. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation formally accepted the delivery at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport this morning.
More than 2/3 of deaths in Thailand from the virus have been recorded just in the past month alone. But new, daily infections have been hovering around the 2,000 mark since the middle of April. The Public Health Ministry says it is working on other ways to communicate with foreigners about getting the jabs.
Friday Thailand reported 2,044 new Covid-19 infections and 27 deaths.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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Yesterday they said no foreigners would get free vaccine and Thais would be first, now today this, what will they say tomorrow?
Just in this news outlet source alone there are about 4 conflicting reports. I get that we are guests in this country but is it really too much to ask to get your facts straight and all be on the same page when you announce things? The main thing that the Thailnd hub of hubs creates is lack of confidence and faith in the “latest reports”
‘ . . . The Thai government says it is planning on including 3 million foreigners in its mass Covid-19 vaccination programme.’
It’s that terrible Thai maths again, that and this govt’s propensity for making grossly over-exaggerated pronouncements. Someone really does need to tell Opas Kankawinpong, the head of the disease control department (smashing title, if crap maths), that there are only 150,707 expats in his country. Just what will he do with those ‘spare’ 2,849,293 doses? What a pickler.
Pass. Thanks, though.
Nevertheless, an online petition signed by as many foreigners as possible in the whole Thailand would be a good “incentive” to the govt on order to make this last statement here in this article into reality. The very fact Thais are not being discriminated in the vaccination roll out in most countries from which Thai expats such you and I are from should be reminded to the govt. What do you think?
Never happen @David Ambrosia. Most expats in Thailand are older men who are more in fear of stirring up the interests of the Immigration department and hence being kicked out. The watchword in Thailand, even for Thais, is keep your head down and mouth shut. Even on sites such as this, people use false names for fear of being singled out. It’s a hard circle to square. If you keep quiet nothing changes. And of you are seen to be a problem you will have your visa revoked. The only way a change will take place towards foreigners is for our own countries to reciprocate the same standards in foreigners for each country. So, the various Western immigration should apply a few basic rules and reciprocate them, such as:
….such as. 1) Length of visa and requirements. 2) Can you achieve employment status. 3) Can you own land and property. 4) Can you own a business outright? Just these four basics would be easily applied to each person. Maybe then, Thais who own land and businesses and property in the West; who are often powerful people, may apply pressure on the Thai government? I’m from the U.K. and see Leicester City football club owned by the Thai family who own King Power. I don’t blame them for exploiting the generous laws in the U.K., but I do expect a degree of equality for U.K. nationals in Thailand. Sadly if I live to be 200 years old, I wouldn’t see it change much
Is everyone happy now?
Of course you’re not!
Patience is wearing thin but, what are you gonna do?
It is good to see that Thailand, like other countries, is vaccinating their population and not limiting their vaccines to just their citizens. The faster the world is healthy the faster the world can get back to normal.
Here in America where I am right now the vaccines are free and available to everyone. We don’t get to choose which vaccine we receive but having any of them is better than having none.
@Nigel – Excellent comments, Sir. Well-written and well-meaning, as grim as it is.
Again,they are crying for vaccines, they don’t go back to get jabs. why? They know they are outcasted by their own governments. I tell you one thing, the most friendly visa is money. if no, accept the status quo.
How gracious. Might consider extending my visa another time ?
Actually, in many areas you do get to choose. You just sign up or walk into the place that has your “preferred” vaccine. I don’t think most of the world will be able to keep up with the new variants and increasing population, but the more vaccinated the better.
@Dynamo Dave –
Who do you think are working on the roads, sweeping the streets, doing the dirty work, they are done by FOREIGNERS from Cambodia etc, do you think only farangs are counted as foreigners?
@James R – Oops! . . . silly me!
@Nigel, spot on. What I can perceive though, is that political correctness has pushed the West into such a deep lethargy, that Western politicians are either against or scared of leveling up (reciprocating) the standards imposed by other countries in geopolitical stage. Foreigners “pressuring” their embassies could be one way, but I still think that more action from the foreign community or at least from westerners should happen. It is possible to be active in this regard and yet be safe.
@Dynamo Dave – not just expats are foreigners. There is a huge number of labourers etc. from Myanmar, Laos etc.
@Nigel – I move in different circles to you.
Depopulation vaccine no thank you.