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Thai government says tourism-dependent locations will get high priority in vaccination drive

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Willy Thuan/

The government’s Covid-19 task force says places like Phuket and Pattaya, which are heavily reliant on international tourism, will be considered “high priority” for vaccination. The Pattaya News reports that Apisamai Srirangsan, assistant spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, made the announcement at a press conference yesterday.

The southern island of Phuket – along with a number of other tourism-dependent locations – had been hoping to purchase vaccines privately, in order to inoculate enough of its residents to achieve herd immunity. It was hoped that this would mean the island could re-open to international tourists from October. However, the government has put a stop to the plan, in a move that generated furious criticism from the tourism sector.

Places like Phuket and Pattaya are nearly entirely dependent on tourism, with both listed in the top 20 most-visited cities in 2019. Each welcomed around 10 million visitors a year, with Pattaya relying on tourism for nearly 80% of its GDP. In Phuket, that figure is more like 90%.

Apisamai says that, while frontline medical workers and other vulnerable people remain first in line for Covid-19 vaccines, employees in the tourism sector will also be classed as “high priority” for vaccination. However, the details of the government’s planned vaccine rollout remain unclear, nor is it yet known if expats, many who would fall into the vulnerable category, will be included.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:35 am

    And where are the orders for these vaccines? Everday further nonsense!You have to reserve Vaccines to get them! Even when they order now they will be on the end of the list. Do this Clowns know how much People living on planet earth?

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:36 am

    For the government a delay is much more beneficial, they can the continue with their emergency decree and very profitable, (for themselves), stimulus programmes,when everybody is vaccinated they would have to forego all that, never mind the economic destruction.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:54 am

      How are the “stimulus programmes” “very profitable” for the government, or anyone else?

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 12:36 pm

        Issan John how long have you lived in Thailand for?, the people who are in charge get a cut of everything, be it stimulus programmes, vaccinations, road projects etc etc, does it ring a bell Issan John?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:14 pm

          Nearly 30 years!

          It “rings a bell”, but the idea that “stimulus programmes” are worth more to anyone than tourism is, quite frankly, moronic.

          • Avatar


            Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 4:38 pm

            Issan John stop pretending that you don’t know the real situation you junta backside licker.

          • Avatar


            Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 8:31 am

            Wow John, you really yanked some chains here. I have a rule: Never fight with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it. When people attack you instead of your comments, just let it go.

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:14 pm

          Issan is just a scumbag troll window licker of the dictatorship, don’t talk to him, leave him alone.

          • Avatar


            Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 4:37 pm

            You are totally right dream on.

          • Avatar

            David Mann

            Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 8:19 pm

            IJ is typical of someone trapped in his sad existence and trying to justify his wasted 30 years. I also strongly suspect he’s an employee of The Tiger. He can’t possibly be as obnoxious as he is and not have had his ass kicked many times otherwise. I honestly can’t believe that anyone who has spent 30 days in Thailand would have the rose tinted view of the place as he does, never mind 30 years. The guy could engage in sensible debate but chooses to be rude and spew his vile and incompetent views on just about everything. I have to laugh at the way he sees Google search engine as the provider of all truth ?? Best to ignore the troll going forward I think and hold a sensible debate with people.

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 5:32 pm

          I doubt he is a expat – maybe more a troll friendly to the military dictators – or hes thai wife tell him he must write only positive about thais – better ignore him – love makes blind

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:42 am

    The whole world started vaccination already, only Thailand not, because they prefer to talk daily nonsense.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Well what do you know, vaccination priority for the tourist industry. Economically it makes sense even if the ethics are a bit questionable. The government has been talking about a third quarter opening, as in dropping the quarantine requirement. Not sure they can open that soon, but September or October might be doable. I would think some limits on movement would be in place, at least for the first few weeks after arrival. Along with some testing requirements. More than a fair trade for the lack of a quarantine if you ask me. I’m in.

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    What you need to remember is that tourists plan holidays 3-6 months out. So there will be a lag. There will be a further lag as workers return to tourist hotspots which they won’t do until there are tourists. And tourists won’t commit to holidays until they know that things are up and running. So you are into a nasty catch 22. With great sadness we are writing off 2021 and looking at alternative options. Or have I got this wrong? Please say I have as I miss Thailand every day.

  6. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    it seems to me the usual propaganda to give hope to the hungry, in reality it makes no sense because even if all 4 million workers in the sector are vaccinated, another 66 million Thais remain exposed to the virus, without considering that at the moment they do not have the necessary doses, the reality is that vaccinating 70 million Thais means having 140 million doses and the world does not produce enough, international tourism in Thailand will not be there for the whole of 2021 and probably at least half of 2022, what will remain of the industry?

  7. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Well someone is lieing ij
    You said yesterday you’ve paid and lived in UK and paid taxes in UK for 45 yrs and today you say you’ve lived in thailand 30yrs so if you started working at 16 this makes you 91 at least 555 no wonder your stuck in your wooden hut

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      Obviously Issan John has been here way too long, he has lost the plot.

  8. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    This only makes sense for isolated places (i.e. islands). Tourists could visit these without a quarantine.
    The price to pay is you need to maintain a strict isolation, with a quarantine for anybody going back to the mainland. This would have to last until the rest of Thailand has been sufficiently vaccinated. Even a single infected person can jeopardize the efforts that kept Thailand mostly free of corona.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:49 pm

      The benefit of only using island is also the drawback, the isolation. The islands can’t self support themselves even without tourists. With tourist it’s ten times worse. The point being once you introduce tourists to the islands, it is physically impossible to isolate the islands. They need a constant supply of goods from the mainland and that means contact. Same goes for people, they have a need to come and go for any number of reasons. You’re idea is basically instead of quarantining tourists, to quarantine Thais instead. And the reason being so tourist can take a vacation. Not too sure that would go over well with the Thais anymore than it has the last year with tourists.

  9. Avatar

    Wayne C

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 12:55 am

    LOL the 200,000 vaccines that you’re getting from China are totally worthless. They give absolutely zero protection for anybody.
    Think about this 200,000 Doses 100,000 people inoculated. So that means 50% efficiency is 50,000 people that think they have have been inoculated which they actually do not so they will be carriers which could create another mass spread event. As being a tourist to Thailand trying to get me to believe that the citizens have been vaccinated without any chance of carrying the coronavirus which they will not be is even worse than not being inoculated at all……. I will stay away from Thailand for the time being until I have been vaccinated in my own country with a vaccine that 90% efficiency.

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