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Tourism Minister to request 5 million vaccine doses for tourism sector

Maya Taylor

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Tourism Minister to request 5 million vaccine doses for tourism sector | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lex18

The Tourism Minister is planning to meet with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to request 5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for workers across 7 tourist cities. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is also pushing for a vaccine passport scheme that would allow international tourists to return in the third quarter of the year. The 5 million vaccine doses would cover 2.5 million tourism workers, including hotel and restaurant employees, tour drivers and spa staff, in Chonburi, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, and Songkhla.

Nation Thailand reports that tourism officials in the Kingdom aim to welcome 5 – 10 million tourists in 2021, with Yuthasak Supasorn from the Tourism Authority of Thailand also joining the calls for a vaccine passport scheme. There are also tentative discussions about a travel pact that would permit quarantine-free travel between ASEAN nations. The TAT is already ramping up its marketing and is in talks with hotels, tour operators, and airlines like Qatar and Emirates, to start selling all-inclusive packages to lure foreign tourists later this year.

Meanwhile, business groups on the southern island of Phuket have announced a plan to fund the vaccination of 70% of the island’s population, rather than waiting for the government’s national vaccine rollout. The president of the Phuket Tourist Association, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, says the hope is to re-open the island to foreign tourists from October 1, under a campaign known as “Phuket First October.” It’s hoped that with at least 70% of the island’s residents vaccinated, quarantine might be waived for incoming tourists. However, the plan does require government approval.

“Phuket’s private team has already negotiated to buy vaccines from private hospital chains. If the government approves the private sector guidelines, we should start injecting Sinovac’s first dose before the Songkran festival and gradually inject the private sector to complete as planned. The Phuket private sector has agreed that employees, especially in the tourism sector, will pay for vaccines themselves. For our future, we have to invest in ourselves.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Love the idea. Not sure they can pull it off that quick, but I say go for it. Was planning of Europe in September, but I think I can switch without too much regret (like none).

    Interesting Phuket has already lined up the doses, now they just need the approval and of course the $$$.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 10:53 am

      “lined up the doses” from where???

      The “private hospital chains” have agreed to sell them, which was a given, but they don’t have any to sell!

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11:05 am

        Where? China of course. I think we both know the Chinese will sell you anything if they can make a profit. Even if they have to shall we say appropriate it from someone else. It’s not like the Chinese have a lot of takers at this point. They might have plenty to sell. Maybe India? Aren’t they the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 1:43 pm

          Aaah … “of course”.

          Except it hasn’t actually happened anywhere in the world yet, so maybe Phuket will be the first.

          … and apparently the Chinese have plenty of “takers” – at least 17 countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, the Philippines, Algeria, Ukraine, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Chile, the UAE, Bahrain … even Thailand.

          India? Plenty of customers too, and I rather doubt a Phuket hospital will jump the queue – but who knows?

  2. Avatar

    richard sibthorpe

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Opening Thailand borders to people with the Covid-19 vaccine without being quarantined will not work. More than a month after the first vaccines for COVID-19, many people still have questions regarding what happens after receiving the full dose. While there is not hard data on the subject, the chances of getting and spreading the virus after being vaccinated are very low, according to one University of Alabama at Birmingham infectious disease researcher.
    Paul Goepfert, M.D., a professor with the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases, says the bottom line is that the vaccine most likely does not prevent spread of the virus, but probably does reduce the length of time a person sheds virus.
    Can a fully vaccinated person who is subsequently exposed to the virus continue to pass that virus on to others?
    Goepfert says, in theory, the vaccine helps the body develop antibodies to fight off an infection; but while that is happening, the vaccinated person who was exposed to the virus could still be infectious to others, similarly to the flu.
    “That is still unknown for COVID,” he said. “Animal data suggests that a COVID vaccine decreases the amount of time for viral shedding to four days; but during that time, the animal — or person — would still be infectious.”
    Simply put, the vaccine does not kill or destroy the virus if you are exposed. It simply trains your body to successfully fight off the virus so you do not get sick.
    Goepfert says, with that being correct, it seems reasonable that a vaccinated person could continue to spread virus. This has ramifications for continued mask wearing and social distancing, even after large numbers of people have been vaccinated. Because of this, UAB medical experts advise that if your employer or institution offers sentinel testing, you should continue to participate after receiving the vaccine.
    “We only know that the vaccine prevents against getting sick with COVID,” he said. “We don’t know if it prevents spread. My suspicion is that it will significantly reduce spread although not completely. At least one study is hoping to look at the effect of vaccine on asymptomatic spread. Until then, we need to wear a mask even if vaccinated.”
    Goepfert also added that the vaccine will take effect roughly 14 days after the first dose. The second dose likely extends the duration of that protection but only a bit more, if any, to the protection (i.e., 92 percent to 95 percent efficacy).

  3. Avatar

    luca

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    today the main problem is the scarce number of vaccine doses, I do not believe that China alone can produce 3 billion doses for its population and another billion for all the countries mentioned, without considering the doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine Chinese which for the moment has not been approved by any medical institution outside of China.
    When I hear the Thai ministers I hear only propaganda, in fact it is a dictatorship

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 4:09 pm

      Agreed, luca, it’s supply and demand and demand far outweighs supply.

      Actually several countries have approved Chinese vaccines, though. The UAE and Bahrain approved Sinopharm’s two months ago, so have Hungary, Serbia, and Cambodia, and Indonesia’s approved Sinovac’s as has Turkey.

      Several others have made orders, pending approval.

      • Avatar

        Alavan

        Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 5:29 pm

        Never heard Hungary approved Sinovac or bought it. I know they bought the Russian Sputnik V which seems to be 90% effective.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11:40 pm

          Maybe you should try a search for “hungary buy sinovac” 🙂

          • Avatar

            Alavan

            Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 12:05 am

            OK, thank you. I didn’t know that and it wasn’t in the news here.

      • Avatar

        luca

        Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 6:20 pm

        maybe I expressed myself badly but I meant authorities like the EMA or FDA or Mhra, the other countries mentioned do not have a political system that allows trust in the supervisory authorities, because they are always controlled by the government

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11:52 pm

          You could say that about many countries – Hungary’s OGYEI and Indonesia’s BPOM are no more (and no less 🙂 ) “controlled by the government” than many others.

  4. Avatar

    prnit singh

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Can any one told me when will Thailand of without quarantine ?

    I mean expected time ?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 11:05 am

      No.

  5. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    More empty promises.

    You need to have your hand on the vaccine before you can make a promise.

    There is a world wide shortage, the UK for instance will have everyone over the age of 50 vaccinated by May, they are are vaccinating 500,000 people a day and this is increasing.

    So Western countries will vaccinate their own people first before exporting the vaccines they are producing.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11:56 pm

      Equally importantly, while that’s the plan it’s also the plan for everyone to pay for their own vaccination.

      That may not go down too well …

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 12:04 am

        Sorry, in hindsight that wasn’t clear – to clarify, the plan is apparently for everyone in Phuket to pay for their own vaccinations.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 3:44 pm

          I shall watch with close attention to spot if the expats have to pay more than the Thais.

        • Avatar

          James R

          Monday, February 8, 2021 at 1:50 am

          Issan John

          It will be hard to get people to pay to have the vaccination, here (UK) we are giving them away for free and due to a lot of mis-information some people are refusing, some on religious grounds and others for instance think they contain alcohol, or are not tested, unsafe to use, and the pandemic is all made up.

          But enough will be vaccinated to make a huge difference very soon as all over 50 year olds will get theirs before May this year, all 80 year olds and over have had theirs already.

  6. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    The Tourist Sector is D E D……..Dead! Draconian rules & regulations for a cowering populace will do that to an economic sector. The paranoia killed the golden goose that supported hundreds of thousands.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 12:00 am

    … and how many tourists do you think there’d be if Thailand hadn’t had “Draconian rules & regulations” but had instead kept its borders open with the same results as the UK, USA and the EU?

    … and what effect would that have had on Thailand’s economy?

    • Avatar

      Dreamon

      Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:16 pm

      Shut Up you moron. For sure more than zero, people are starving to death because of imbeciles like you.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:26 pm

        Feel free to come up with something constructive 🙂

  8. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Sorry, in hindsight that wasn’t clear – to clarify, the plan is apparently for everyone in Phuket to pay for their own vaccinations.

  9. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 1:36 am

    At the rate Thailand is going, will be years before enough people are vaccinated for herd immunity. The Kingdom is in the early innings of this catastrophe. I hope they have a plan for the next few years. How long can you keep the draconian measures? How long can an economy sustain them? Empty airports for years is problematic to say the least.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 11:03 am

      As I’ve asked you repeatedly, Patrick K, what’s the alternative?

      It’s very easy to point out the problems of “draconian” border closures and lockdowns, but a lot harder to come up with workable alternatives.

      So far any and all those alternatives that have been tried have proved even more “problematic”.

      • Avatar

        Dreamon

        Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:19 pm

        The alternative is to ban people like you, go back to your country,
        Nazi moron.

    • Avatar

      Peter Nielsen

      Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      Enough people vaccinated? What do you mean? If just those who are in risk of dying from the virus takes the vaccine, why on Earth should people without risk take it? The Phizer and Moderna vaccines are nearly 100% efective, so if the vulnerable just take them, then everything is fine, of course.

  10. Avatar

    Ben

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Vaccination means economic recovery and less death so everyone in the world is desperately struggling to secure vaccine supply including Thailand. The USA has vaccinated roughly 11% of its population so far and is ramping up fast. J&J’s vaccine will get approved soon as will Novavax.

    Many initially in the USA whined it would take until late summer to get vaccinated. It now appears anyone in America that wants a jab will be able to get one inside 3 months. I’d assume the rest of the developed world will be on a similar pace. The developing world will follow maybe a quarter behind. It won’t take years. People are always so pessimistic and don’t realize the efforts people are making to speed these things along. It’s not going to take Thailand years to vaccinate to herd immunity because they can’t afford years of economic drought. They know this and will pull out all the stops and it’ll surprise people.

  11. Avatar

    Peter Nielsen

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Why on Earth would people with nearly no risk of dying from covid take the vaccine? Those who are afraid of the virus can just take the Phizer or Moderna vaccine, as they are nearly 100% efficient. If you have taken this vaccine, you are protected. Why on Earth will they now force people without risk take these experimental vaccines? I am baffled!

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      Exactly.
      The figures show only 79 persons have died, which is .34 percent of 22644 of people infected.
      Some might think, that is a risk I will take.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:35 pm

        THEN TAKE IT!!!

        • Avatar

          MichaelBKK

          Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 8:40 pm

          Wow you really have become very angry little Johnny ! You have resorted to replying in full capital letters now and I’m starting to think that these lockdowns or restrictions you so passionately advocate maybe having a negative effect on your mental health. Who would of thought this …..

  12. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    No one’s going to be “forced” to take the vaccine, at least in Thailand.

    Nobody except you has ever suggested they will be.

    As usual, pure fantasy.

  13. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    It will take seven years for life to return to normal and for coronavirus to subside, a Bloomberg database tracking worldwide coronavirus vaccinations found.
    Although countries like the U.S. and Israel have administered coronavirus at a rate that will ensure herd immunity by 2022, most countries have fallen behind that pace and will not catch up for seven years, according to Bloomberg.
    Your government needs a plan for the next several years. I wonder if they are formulating that plan or just asleep at the wheel.

  14. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Some countries have fallen behind…while some have not even left the starting gate. I wonder which Thailand falls under? Who has the answer for an airport in Bangkok being a ghost town for several years? Crickets to this question is typical of the Lockdown Locals!

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand to issue vaccine certificate to everyone who gets 2 doses of Covid jab

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to issue vaccine certificate to everyone who gets 2 doses of Covid jab | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister says everyone who receives both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will be issued with a vaccine certificate. The vaccine certificate will be similar to the vaccination books already in circulation for some time and used to prove inoculation against yellow fever. According to a Coconuts report, both the paper and online version of the certificate will cost 50 baht and will be available from hospitals administering the vaccines.

While there is currently no standard vaccine passport, with most countries waiting for World Health Organisation guidance on the matter, it’s hoped Thailand’s vaccine certificate could help citizens with international travel plans. Anutin says recipients can use them for international travel and the certificates will have a validity of 1 year.

The government is also considering a reduction in mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreigners entering the Kingdom. A proposal going before the government’s Covid-19 task force on Monday includes cutting quarantine to 7 days for vaccinated visitors or reducing it to 10 days for unvaccinated arrivals who have tested negative 72 hours prior to travel. It’s understood the 7 day quarantine would apply to travellers who have been vaccinated for at least 2 weeks, but no longer than 3 months.

The proposals come as vaccine rollouts continue around the world, although Anutin points out that travellers from South Africa will not be eligible for reduced quarantine, due to the highly-contagious variant detected there, which health officials fear may be more resistant to vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister has even hinted at quarantine being cancelled completely if Thailand manages to inoculate 70% of people with underlying conditions and those working in the health and tourism sectors by October. Vaccine registration is set to kick-off in May, with the full national rollout beginning in June, when additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

AstraZeneca rollout confirmed for Thursday, with PM first in line

Maya Taylor

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AstraZeneca rollout confirmed for Thursday, with PM first in line | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr

First, there was the unexpected arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine on the same day Thailand took delivery of the Chinese one. Then there was the announcement that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was too old for China’s Sinovac jab and would get the AstraZeneca one instead. And then there was the delay to the PM’s inoculation, blamed on paperwork that was missing from the AstraZeneca shipment. Now, finally, the rollout of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab is scheduled for Thursday and the PM will be first in line.

The Bangkok Post reports that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has confirmed that quality checks on the 117,000 AstraZeneca doses are nearly complete and the PM will be vaccinated this week.

“(The rollout of) AstraZeneca vaccines in Thailand will take place on March 11 at the earliest, with the PM to be the first to receive the vaccine.”

According to Anutin, a number of senior politicians, including the foreign affairs minister and the acting education minister, have requested the AstraZeneca jab. Those over the age of 60 are being prioritised, while younger people will receive the Chinese vaccine, whose efficacy and safety have not been tested in those over 60.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister adds that China has asked for Thailand’s help in inoculating 200,000 Chinese citizens living in the Kingdom. Beijing has also floated the idea of making Thailand a regional vaccination centre for Chinese people living in the ASEAN region and says it will provide the necessary vaccines for free.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry has confirmed it will issue vaccination certificates to everyone who receives the required 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Apisamai Srirangson from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says such certificates have been approved by the World Health Organisation and can be used in the future to obtain a vaccine passport.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economic think-tank says the future of tourism in Thailand hangs on vaccination

Maya Taylor

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Economic think-tank says the future of tourism in Thailand hangs on vaccination | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The research division of Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank says everything hangs on vaccination strategies, both here and abroad. Kevalin Wangpichayasuk from the Kasikorn Research Centre says the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines globally will have a significant impact on the recovery of tourism in the Kingdom, with 2 million foreign tourists expected to arrive in the last quarter of the year. However, she points out that this is a huge drop from tourism’s hey day and the country will still be heavily reliant on the domestic market.

“Thailand’s path to economic recovery will mostly depend on the tourism industry (outlook) as to when the country will reopen for foreign tourist arrivals. The Covid-19 vaccines and the (re-opening) policy of each country will have a significant impact on the recovery of Thailand’s tourism industry in 2021.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, Kevalin says the rollout of vaccines in countries from where most visitors to Thailand originate, coupled with the administration of vaccines in the Kingdom, will be instrumental in how quickly tourism recovers. Specifically, the revival of foreign tourism hinges on vaccine rollouts in 10 countries, including China, Japan, the US, and several European nations, as well as the progress of the Thai government’s Covid-19 vaccine programme.

“Other crucial factors are whether Thailand’s quarantine period is reduced, the clarity of vaccine passport policy, and if countries would allow their citizens to travel to Thailand.”

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has announced that the mandatory quarantine period may be reduced for vaccinated arrivals from October. The proposal will go to the CCSA board, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, on Monday.

Last year, Thailand welcomed just 6.7 foreign visitors, a year-on-year decline of over 83%. In January, the number of international tourists was 7,694, a massive year-on-year drop of 99.8%. The current mandatory quarantine of 14 days is widely seen as the most significant obstacle in the battle to revive the sector.

The Kasikorn Research Centre says the Kingdom’s GDP is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2021, primarily due to a recovery in exports, various economic stimulus measures, and Covid-19 containment measures being less severe than last year. However, the think-tank warns that should the number of foreign visitors not reach the expected 2 million, that growth forecast could drop.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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