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Foreign Ministry cautions Thais about vaccine travel to the US

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Traveling to the US to get vaccinated may or may not work. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

While Covid-19 tourism may sound like an oxymoron, people travelling abroad in order to get vaccinated is a growing trend. But now Thailand’s Foreign Ministry is urging Thai people planning to travel to the United States to get a free Covid-19 vaccine to be cautious and do their homework. They stressed that rules vary from state to state, and not all states do give free vaccines to everyone, so travellers should confirm details before paying for such vaccine tourism packages.

They also warned that the situation is constantly changing and that Thai travellers should be check and recheck vaccine regulations in whatever state they plan to visit. The procedures vary from state to state but generally anyone over the age of 16 who lives in the US or has legally entered the country can be vaccinated for free. Some places may give a free vaccine to tourist just by showing their passport with legal stamps inside, but some states have additional criteria such as employment or permanent residents in the state.

Vaccine tourism may have a limited window of opportunity. While tour companies in Thailand are luring travellers with tour packages that include free Covid-19 vaccines by taking them to states that only require a temporary visa to get vaccinated, many states oppose vaccine tourism and are working to ban the practice. Alabama’s health department and Florida’s governor both recently declared that only permanent residents will be given vaccines in their states.

With Thailand’s weak vaccine roll out and limited choice of vaccine brands, and with a much more brutal third wave of Covid-19 throughout the country, people are getting desperate to procure an effective vaccine. Many are turning to private hospitals to pay for vaccines from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and more, but those jabs won’t be available for months with the government’s slow approval process. So those who can afford it are eyeing international vaccine travel or even moving abroad to get jabs.

Tour packages to Californian cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Monterey for 7 nights that include room, breakfast, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been advertised to groups of 8 or more for 76,000 baht per person, or up to 175,000 baht per person for private two-person trips. Prices for these vaccine travel packages do not include airfare.

With the shifting rules and standards, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry is cautioning people that they may not get vaccinated on their vaccine travel or could possibly be denied entry by US immigration if the backlash against vaccine tourism continues to grow. Travellers are suggested to contact the Consular Affairs Department at 02-572-8442 or use the Thai Consular mobile app before booking their trip. They should also make contact with US agencies:

  • Thai Embassy in Washington DC at +1 202-684-8493
  • Thai Consulate in Los Angeles at +1 323-962-9574
  • Thai Consulate in Chicago at +1 312-664-3129
  • Thai Consulate in New York at +1 212-754-1770, ext 304, 311 and 313

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Matt Miran

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    There are FREE vaccine stations at most BIG BOX stores throughout Louisiana. No questions asked if you want to be vaccinated. Sam’s, Walmart, and all Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. There are more locations but I have not been there to see first hand.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    This should shame the Thai government, because a Thai has to go to the USA to receive a vaccination.
    However this Thai government has no shame. They have just allowed a convicted drug dealer to be in the government.

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    It’s easy to figure out which states have residency requirements. California which is a entry point for most Asian travelers has no such requirement (you don’t even have to be in the country legally to get a jab), and for political reasons it’s not going to change either. All shots are free of charge and J&J jabs are easy to find. You can get a same day appointment at dozens of locations in every major city. Now whether or not you can get into the US is a different issue, but getting jabbed in California is solid.

  4. Avatar

    TS

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:51 am

    correct-this army dictatorship has no shame, takes no responsibility for outbreak #3, no vaccines or preparations on order till now (maybe). they’ve got theirs so what’s the problem?
    btw if one does go to another country they’ll still need to run the consulate obstacle course, secure $US100k covid ins. and quar if returning. what will be, will be said your overlord

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Thailand

American leaves hospital after being denied Covid treatment in same room as Thai wife

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Photo via The Pattaya News

An American man, who tested positive for Covid-19, is back in the hospital after fleeing when he was denied a shared room with this Thai wife-who was also undergoing Covid treatment. The 51 year old man left the northeastern Amnat Charoen province Chanuman hospital on May 9th after doctors declined to move his bed to that of his wife’s room. The man angrily went home without permission.

He was spotted walking on the road by local residents before being found by police at his home. The medical team convinced him to return to the hospital. But the incident has invoked stress among locals as they fear he could have spread the virus when he left the hospital. Thai social media was flooded with angry posts about the incident, with some calling for his arrest or deportation. In response, the Chanuman district chief has announced they will tighten security at the hospital to prevent any future incidents that are similar in nature.

The man’s name was not given, due to his Covid-19 status, and it has not been announced whether he will face any consequences after his actions.

Meanwhile, Thailand is reporting 1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

1,919 new Covid-19 cases and 31 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 29,435 active cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 86,924 infections and 452 Covid-related deaths.

At today’s CCSA briefing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said that while the Covid-19 situation in Thailand may seem like it is stable, with cases decreasing or at zero in many provinces, the number of new infections reported each day is not declining.

“Infections are still concentrated in the hotspot which is Bangkok and the vicinity where several new cases were detected in active case finding.”

Out of the 1,919 new infections reported today, 885 were in Bangkok. Since April 1, more than 20,000 Covid-19 infections have been reported in the capital, first with clusters in the swanky Thong Lor nightlife district and now in the Khlong Toey slum.

Natapanu says that, fortunately, no new clusters were reported in Bangkok over the past day. He says a minor cluster was reported at a wet market in Nonthaburi, a suburb just outside Bangkok.

Out of the recent deaths, many had pre-existing conditions of high blood pressure and diabetes. Many contracted the virus from infected family members.

To prevent the emergence of the Covid-19 variant that was first detected in India, Natapanu says foreign nationals travelling from countries with the widespread transmission of the mutated strain are temporarily barred from entering Thailand. Thai embassies in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, where the Indian variant is spreading, have suspended the issuing of the required Certificate of Entry, or COE.

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chon Buri releases Covid timeline of recent market cluster

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Stock photo via The Pattaya News

Chon Buri is releasing a Covid-19 timeline of a recent market cluster that is seeing 19 cases of the virus so far. The Chonburi Public Health Office is asking those who visited the places listed below, to notify health authorities and monitor their health for Covid symptoms.

The following is an English version of the timeline, translated by The Pattaya News:

  1. Phra Phrom Market in Nong Kham, Si Racha on May 1 from 9:30am to 11am
  2. Thong Lang Market in Khlong Tamru, Mueang Chonburi on May 1 from 3pm to 8pm
  3. Thong Kung Klong Tom Market in Na Pa, Mueang Chonburi on May 7 from 3pm to 8 pm

Meanwhile, today’s provincial totals from the last 24 hours see a slight increase in infections, at 73, up from 63 yesterday. Today there was 1 Covid-related death reported over the past day, but no details have been released on that case yet. This week will also see wider scale testing at factories and high-risk occupations in the province.

 

Chon Buri releases Covid timeline of recent market cluster | News by Thaiger

Today’s new infections increase the total amount of Covid infections in the province, since early April, to 3,434. 1,485 are listed as still in medical care, and 1,939 have been released, with 94 discharged yesterday alone. The province has seen 10 fatalities from the virus since the same time as well. The last day saw 133 close contacts tested for the virus, and 279 proactively tested. There are no reports of Royal mobile van testing over the past 2 days, according to The Pattaya News.

The new infections by district are as follows:

Mueang Chonburi – 3

Si Racha – 5

Banglamung (including Pattaya) – 49

Phanat Nikhom – 1

Sattahip – 8

Phan Thong -4

Ko Chan – 1

2 patients from other provinces transferred to Chonburi for medical care.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News/The Pattaya News

 

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