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Expats are included in Thailand’s vaccination plan, Phuket to start registration

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

Expats are included in Thailand’s vaccination plan, a spokesperson from the CCSA said today, clarifying recent reports that said Thais have priority in the first phase of inoculations. The spokesperson says comments were taken out of context and, in fact, foreigners have already been included in the first phase of vaccinations.

We’d like to confirm that Thailand’s vaccination strategy is based on ensuring accessibility to all those who require it, regardless of their nationality.

We’d like to reiterate that Thailand continues to include foreign residents in its vaccination program and some foreign residents have been inoculated in the first phase already.

A Ministry for Public Health spokesperson had recently told the Bangkok Post that doses are currently reserved for Thais who are at high risk of infection or who are living in an area where there is a severe outbreak. He said foreigners need to wait until there is a clear vaccine policy announced by the government.

The CCSA spokesperson says comments made on the vaccinations for foreigners were “taken out of context in the media.”

Due to the limited number of doses, Thai health officials had to prioritize the doses, first vaccinating those at risk including frontline healthcare workers, the elderly, and those living in areas where there is a severe outbreak. The spokesperson says foreigners, including migrant workers and migrant health volunteers, have been included in the first phase of vaccinations which started at the end of February and will go until the end of May.

The next phase will include the diplomatic community and international orginasations as well as foreign residents depending on the their level of risk. Officials are also working on a system for foreigners to register for the vaccine, discussing whether to have a mobile application or to just have foreign residents contact hospitals directly for a vaccine.

Phuket and Koh Samui, tourist destinations that have been said are of “economic significance,” have moved up in Thailand’s Covid-19 immunisation plan with an accelerated rollout of vaccinations in an effort to reach herd immunity and reopen to foreign tourists.

Some expats who work as English teachers on the islands say they’ve already been injected with the vaccine. One expat told the Thaiger he has received both doses of the Sinovac vaccine. The school helped with the registration process for both injections and he was vaccinated for free.

In Phuket, expats working in the province will be able to register for the Covid-19 vaccine starting on May 11, according to a report from The Phuket News. Foreigners must have a valid work permit to be eligible for the vaccine and human resources staff must register the foreign workers under the name of the company. Expats who do not work for a company in Phuket will have to wait for the next phase of registration, according to the report.

SOURCES: CCSA | Phuket News

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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