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Questions raised about when Covid-19 vaccine will be available to expats

Caitlin Ashworth

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Questions raised about when Covid-19 vaccine will be available to expats | The Thaiger
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Expats in Thailand might be in somewhat of a grey area when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines with Thai citizens likely to be the first priority during the rollout of vaccines.

For Americans, the US Embassy in Bangkok says the US government does not plan to provide vaccines for “private” Americans living overseas.

A representative from Thailand’s Disease Control Department told Coconuts Bangkok that free Covid-19 doses might become available to some foreigners.

“Foreigners who work and pay taxes in Thailand might get it, but I’m pretty sure they will have to wait behind Thai nationals, unless they have changed their nationality.”

Government spokesperson Kemmika Intanin told Coconuts Bangkok that specific conditions for Thais and expats receiving the vaccine haven’t been discussed.

The Thai government has plans to vaccinate half of the Thai population by the end of the year, starting with the most vulnerable first. The Thai company Siam Bioscience is in the process of producing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine which was developed in partnership with Oxford University. That vaccine is planned to be available to the public in May.

In the midst of a new wave of Covid-19 infections, far exceeding the number of active cases in the first wave back in April, Thailand recently ordered vaccine doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech which are expected to arrive next month.

In an alert by the US Embassy in Bangkok regarding Thailand’s current Covid-19 situation, the embassy added that the US government doesn’t plan to provide foreigners overseas with Covid-19 vaccines.

As part of our efforts to give U.S. citizens timely information so that they can make informed choices about travel abroad, the Department advises that the United States government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens traveling or residing overseas should follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

SOURCES: US Embassy | Coconuts Bangkok

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55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    I think it is inevitable once supplies become available in Thailand (and neighbouring countries) a few doses will be ‘hijacked’ and be made available to those who can afford them. It’s human nature and happens everywhere. It also wouldn’t amaze me if some of the empty vials get recharged with saline solution and passed off as the genuine item by ruthless profiteers.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:02 pm

      In other words, no-one knows but let’s start whingeing anyway.

      The vaccination priorities in Thailand have, in any case, already been detailed: first health care staff, then the aged, infirm, etc, etc, etc.

      Exactly as elsewhere in pretty much everywhere in the world, AFAIK, so if foreigners are working in hospitals in Thailand I’m sure they’ll be included alongside Thais as the first priority.

      For the rest of us, I’m pretty sure that most countries in the West are following much the same policy, that “if you work and pay taxes” and / or you’re on the medical register you’ll be called up for a vaccination depending strictly on where you are on the list.

      … and if you’re not on the list and you just turn up to the government hospital in Nakhon Nowhere demanding a vaccination on the grounds that you’re not only a fossil but a farang, I’m sure the staff will give you the same reply that the staff at my local UK hospital, the Royal Free in Hampstead, would give to Somchai na Macaroon if he did the same thing there … except possibly with a smile.

      • Avatar

        Stu

        Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:26 pm

        Im always puzzled why ij is so fiercely defensive of the thais? Its fun to read your posts but puzzling nonetheless. Perhaps you could expand on this one day…..

        • Avatar

          Michael

          Friday, January 8, 2021 at 8:02 pm

          He even defends child prostitution in Thailand this way. Thai children make that decision themselves, so it is no problem that it happens in Thailand.

          You cannot say anything bad about Thailand!

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9:02 pm

            No, never said that or anything remotely like that.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Friday, January 8, 2021 at 8:54 pm

          It’s probably because IJ is not a farang… can’t you tell?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9:00 pm

          Not “defensive”, just trying to put things in some sort of rational perspective.

      • Avatar

        Geoff

        Friday, January 8, 2021 at 8:37 pm

        Pot/kettle IJ? – you’re always whingeing about what people say and “putting them right”. I bet you are a real barrel of laughs.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:28 pm

      It’s not human nature. it’s Thai Nature.
      They will will corrupt this vaccine..
      The West will give it to them at cost price and they will sell it to Westerners in the country at three times the the Thais pay, even if the Thais pay.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2:47 pm

        “The West” isn’t giving Thailand anything. Thailand’s bought the rights to manufacture it from Astra Zeneca. Pretty simple for most to understand.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 2:38 am

          To be strictly accurate, I should have said that Siam BioScience has bought the technology transfer and manufacturing rights from Astra Zeneca, and Thailand’s buying the vaccine from Siam BioScience.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 6:27 am

      I will patiently await my turn, whenever that may be. However, I think my biggest fear is that I may get an expired or spoiled dose or, maybe maybe it won’t be strong enough. Yes, and I will probably have to pay more than a citizen. Yes, there will be fakes so, I won’t be getting it from “a guy who knows a guy”. That’s life. We just have to deal with it the best we can.

  2. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    The foreigners…..
    Helped thailand when their was a tsunami.
    The foreigners helped when thai children where stuck in a cave.
    NOW thailand can do something back!!
    Helped foreigners who live in thailand.
    Time to return something!!.
    Or not ??!!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      I’m sure Thailand will give you full credit for the part you played …

    • Avatar

      Jean-Pierre

      Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 3:46 pm

      I am impressed !
      Have you also forgotten that you saved the planet from an asteroid, and were able to solve the Hilbert’s problems faster than you finish a Rubik’s Cube ? …
      Holly dogs !

  3. Avatar

    Changnoi

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    The Thai government seems to think that foreigners are a COVID risk. If so, shouldn’t they be vaccinated? Even Thai dogs get rabies shots.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Why?

      “a risk” is not the same as “at risk”.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Maybe Coconuts Bangkok could have pointed out to Kemmika Intanin that if “foreigners … have changed their nationality” to Thai, then they’re not “foreigners” …..

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    My apologies to Kemmika Intanin; reading the original article in Coconuts Bangkok, apparently it wasn’ Kemmika Intanin after all, but “a Disease Control Department representative, who refused to identify himself for fear of upsetting his higher-ups”.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 8:58 pm

      Why don’t you just give it a rest for while… you’re only making a fool out of yourself, after alienating half of the commenters on this site with your un-self-aware public digital chuntering.

  6. Avatar

    Andre

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Why is this even coming up as a question at such an early time? There is still not even any vaccines in the country and all of the first batches will of course be distributed to those at risk or health care workers.

    I don’t think there are any other countries with a large expat comunity in the world that these kind of questions have started to surface. There is something special about the old expats in Thailand – but that we already knew. I can not think of any country in the world that would prioritze “visitors” to the country over citizens when it comes to this. Eventually vaccines will be available on the private market as production is ramped up – which is where any “visitor” (those not part of the host country’s health care system) should get their “jab”.

    • Avatar

      Stu

      Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 8:33 am

      What a crock of nonsense. “Visitors” like myself that have lived here over 20 years contribute as much to thai society and economy as most thai citizens. We tolerate being treated as visitors that arrived a week ago because that’s just how it is here. You will never however take away our indignation of the hypocracy of the system here. The imminent 2 tier pricing on the vaccine is practically a guarantee. People are right to comment on it and start a conversation. People who defend the thai policy of overcharging anyone not born in thailand for everything from property to golf fees to waterfalls and no doubt the vaccine are absurd. To suggest this is a common practice in other countries is plain wrong. Its a common practice in grubby 3rd world countries and thailand should ride above it. Its an embarrassment to the good people of Thailand. The middle class of thailand that travel, work and live overseas rarely face the rediculous price fixing that visitors to Thailand do. Do people really think that a thai national living in the west for 20 plus years with residency will be charged more for the vaccine or made to get to the back of the queue because they are “foreign”. Stop defending and normalising these outdated and stupid policies.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:02 am

        Well written Stu.
        I entirely agree.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2:52 pm

        Do you have residency here?

        If not, you’re comparing chalk and cheese.

        • Avatar

          Stu

          Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 5:44 pm

          Is this directed at me? Do I have residency here? Yes sir I do. Im not sure how that pertains to the topic but if it helps in your continued belligerent defence of everything thai then happy to answer. Do I feel entitled? Not really? I wonder if ij really believes that thailand’s two tier pricing is acceptable? Or is he just a troll looking to illicit responses from thaiger readers…..:) Thailand will charge thru the nose for vaccination to anyone not thai by birth. That’s my prediction and I strongly disagree with it if it comes to pass. Any non thais that defend it are daft. Thais that support it are simply victims of the sad nationalist propaganda that is pushed down their throats from birth.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 2:32 am

            So you have a permanent resident’s permit?

            Really?

            Odd that you’ve gone to so much trouble and jumped through so many hoops to get permanent residency in a country you dislike so much about, particularly as it was suspended for so long until quite recently,

            A permanent residency permit hardly ties in with a number of the comments you’ve made on other subjects, or you describing yourself as a “visitor”, so I’m sorry if I’m more than a bit sceptical of that.

            How it “pertains to the topic” is that comparing “a thai national living in the west for 20 plus years with residency” with an expat living in Thailand without permanent residency is “comparing chalk and cheese”.

            Hardly complicated.

            Thailand’s “two-tier pricing system”?

            I’ve hardly come across it, and since you claim to have Thai permanent residency I’m very surprised it affects you.

            “Overcharging” foreigners for “property”? I can’t follow that at all. I’ve never bought a condo here, although I rented one in Pratunam back in the 80’s before I moved here. so I can’t really comment on condo prices, but the property transfer taxes are fixed regardless of nationality, and as foreigners can’t own land I can’t see how they can be charged more for something they’re not allowed to buy. Sorry, I’m lost by that one.

            “Golf”? I don’t play golf so I can’t comment on that as I don’t know anything about it.

            “Waterfalls”? I’m surrounded by them here, all free, although at high season anyone who’s not local gets charged for access to a couple of the sites, but it’s the same price for Thais and farangs just as it is in most places I know from Khao Kitchakut to Phu Rua, via Phu Kradeung and the skywalk at Chiang Khan.

            IIRC in approaching thirty years here I’ve probably been subject to two-tier pricing somewhere around half a dozen times at a few tourist attractions in tourist areas (Pattaya and Bangkok) and occasional national parks like Koh Samet – nothing in the last 10 to 15 years.

            Everywhere else I pay the same price as Thais, whether it’s at a government hospital for things not covered by the UCS or SSS or Thais not on them, and that includes vaccinations, or for pretty much anything else I do, so I can’t really say if it’s “acceptable” or not as beyond the few very isolated cases I’ve experienced years ago which were for a few baht I’ve never come across it.

            I can’t say if it’s “acceptable” or not as I’ve barely experienced it, and TBH I’m more than a bit surprised that as a permanent resident you’ve been subjected to it so much.

            Maybe it’s a golf thing …

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Exactly. The sense of entitlement some farangs here have (only some, fortunately, but a very vocal “some”), is outweighed only by their selfishness which is an embarrasment to the rest of us.

      • Avatar

        Stu

        Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 7:31 am

        Honoured to get such a long response from ij….:) It appears I hit a raw nerve. I love how u break down each segment of my comment into scathing retorts…. Sadly it also reveals your ignorance of thailand though your claim to have been here since the 80s is duly noted.

        To not have experienced the 2 tier pricing in thailand is puzzling…. I guess u have simply stayed in for your time in thailand and never for example visited one of the 147 national parks. Luckily you are surrounded by waterfalls!

        My Thai id card issued to foreign residents gets me in everywhere at thai price and in general I am not subject to the 2 tier pricing. I guess you didn’t understand that I was broadly speaking of the 2 tier pricing policy that is endorsed by the government. I commend u on your unwavering defence of the thais. But you are daft my friend.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 11:30 am

        I’ve visited plenty of national parks, although I’ve not been here “since the 80’s” but only since the 90’s when I moved here.

        As I mentioned, though, the only ones I’ve been to which had two-tier pricing were around Pattaya while the others, some of which I also mentioned, don’t.

        I understand that you may have been “broadly speaking of the 2 tier pricing policy that is endorsed by the government”, although I’m at a loss as to where the golf courses fit in, but it’s nonsense.

        There are a few places like palaces in Bangkok that charge tourists while they’re free to Thais, but it’s a few baht, maybe $1 tops so hardly something to get upset about, and I’ve usually been waved in free but put the entry fee in the donations box instead anyway.

        What “property” taxes or transfer charges are higher for foreigners, as you raised that point?

        None. It’s just fantasy and nonsense, like most of your comments.

        It’s not “unwavering defence of the thais” since if something’s wrong I’m more than happy to say so, and frequently do, but all ‘unwavering Thai-bashing’ does when it’s completely unjustified is detract from those occasions when it’s justified, and it goes from being constructive criticism to just counter-productive whingeing.

        • Avatar

          Stu

          Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 12:52 pm

          Im afraid you are wrong ij. All national parks in thailand charge non thais 200thb. This is easily verified by checking online or going to a national park.

          Many golf courses have 2 tiered pricing. You don’t golf so no reason for u to be aware of this.

          It would be tedious to list many of the attractions throughout thailand that have 2 tier pricing. Its well documented and there is an up to date website maintained by richard barrow that documents this. You can easily check this urself online.

          I understand that you are a comments warrior my friend but this battle is lost. Please move on to the next defence of thailand (which for the most part I side with u)

          You are a worthy adversary but your attitude is ungentlemanly. Enjoy ur Sunday sir.

  7. Avatar

    Jim

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 3:47 am

    why would you inject something into your body when you don’t know whats in it, for all you know it could be a rabies vac instead of aluminium, mercury fermaldihide, and antifreeze thats in c19 vaccine

  8. Avatar

    disgusted `

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Thailand does not care about foreigners here. Why is everyone so surprised?
    No surprise to me that foreigners always get the bum deal.

  9. Avatar

    Slugger

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:06 am

    As foreigners are always fond of saying (thus demonstrating their expertise in Thai) som nam na

  10. Avatar

    Frank Leboeuf

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:31 am

    There’s a good chance EU countries will organise vaccinations of their citizens abroad through local consulates like some did for the H5N1 virus outbreak.
    Fingers crossed…

    There’s talk of such approaches in France for instance, I’d posted links on the subject but message was blocked by moderation.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      There’s no “chance” of it whatsoever – ask any embassy and they’ll tell you, just as the US embassy has.

      • Avatar

        Frank Leboeuf

        Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 4:19 pm

        Why are you being so assertive, John?

        France already did this for H5N1 in the past, and this is currently under discussion for Covid 19.

        I’d posted two articles regarding the process ( for France, it would involve the “caisse des français à l’étranger”), and yes, this has been confirmed by the French embassy. I imagine that more EU countries will follow.

        I’ll try posting the links again.

        • Avatar

          Frank Leboeuf

          Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 4:38 pm

          Links seemed to be blocked again, but just so you know, the Secretary of State discussed the issue of the vaccination of French citinzens abroad in parliament on December 11

          And the issue was brought up in the French Senate on December 15 2020.

          Nothing is confirmed of course, still under discussion and as you probably know France hasn’t been the best on logistics (haha), but we’ll see.
          They did manage to vaccinate French citizens abroad for H1N1 in 2009, so it’s definitely possible.

          The US approach isn’t really surprising to be honest, but would make sense to have a coordinated EU response (since EU citizens/residents have the right to re-enter the EU at any time.
          Doesn’t have to be free like in the EU, since the majority of people would most likely be happy to pay for to be vaccinated. I know I would!

          We’ll see. Interesting times.

        • Avatar

          Frank Leboeuf

          Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 6:01 pm

          Since my links to French governmental pages are just not making it, just wanted to add that

          Question was submitted to the French Senate [Question n° 19339 by Mr Ronan Le Gleut, published on 03/12/2020]
          Question was submitted to Minstry of Foreign affairs on 15/12/20202 [Question n° 34963 published on 15/12/2020, submitted by Mrs Amélia Lakrafi, MP in charge of French citizens abroad].

          As a reminder, France had a vaccination campaign for citizens abroad for H1N1 in 2009.

          We hope that such a process will be repeated, on larger scale, for SARS CoV-2, even if it is not free like in one’s country of citizenship.

          There are also reasons to hope for a coordinated EU stance on this issue, given the free-circulation rights of EU residents, who are allowed to return to the EU at anytime.
          So yes, there is a good chance indeed.

          We’ll see. Fascinating times.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:21 am

            Frank, if it’s “not free like in one’s country of citizenship” I’m not sure what your point is?

            That France is going to have a “vaccination campaign for citizens abroad” to try to persuade them to get vaccinated abroad, and to pay for it themselves before they go back to France?

            Sounds like a good move!

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:12 am

          I’m being “assertive” because the only embassies that have issued any statements on this have said “no”.

          Comparing it to the H1N1 vaccine is a bit disingenuous, as France had bought 95 million H1N1 shots and only had 5 million takers, losing over $1 billion, so they were desperate to justify the purchase as they couldn’t give them away in France – literally.

          Eventually they sold 200,000 to Thailand, on top of the 2 million Thailand had already bought, and the vaccinations you’re referring to came from that batch.

          On the other hand, they’re having problems giving the Covid vaccine away in France that they’ve already bought as well, so you never know 🙂

          • Avatar

            Frank Leboeuf

            Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 10:46 am

            John, I’m just going with what the French consulate told me.

            The situation is quite different from H1N1, you cannot use this to poo-poo the idea that this is actually under consideration. I just mentioned this past campaign to state that yes, this has been done before and yes, will most likely be done again, as there is much more incentive to do so with Covid-19, especially in places where foreigners will not have prompt acces to the country’s vaccination campaign…

            This is what is stated on governmental communications – of course it will not be applied in places where foreigners will have access to their country of residence’s vaccination campaign.

            I’m repeating myself, but this has been brought up in French parliament and in French Senate. I’m not pulling this out of my hat.

            You’re probably not familiar with this, but France has something called the “caisse de francais a l’etranger”, which is specifically aimed at French citizens abroad, It’s nothing new.

            So the answer to “France is going to have a “vaccination campaign for citizens abroad” to try to persuade them to get vaccinated abroad, and to pay for it themselves before they go back to France?”
            is yes, if they are not given easy access to the vaccine in the country. Most foreign residents are not “going back to France”, but France does apply something called the “principle of equity and equality”, for equal treatment of its citizens in france and abroad.

            Just as another example of this, French embassies worlwide are offering financial support to French citizens working / residing abroad and affected by Covid-19, including Thailand ( can’t link so google “Aide spéciale Covid-19 : le secours occasionnel de solidarité (SOS)”, since April 2020. This has been reconducted for 2021.

            The fact the the USA doesn’t have the same vaccination plan or policy does not mean that all countries will have the same policy.

            I honestly do not understand why you are being so adamant about something which is officially under discussion, with historical precedents.

            The fact that you might maybe not agree with this policy for a reason does not change the reality of the process.

            We will see what happens, but I recommend that you open your mind to the idea.

  11. Avatar

    chupapi

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    I don’t ask to get it for free, I can pay for without problems. A good solution would be to make a booking systems so foreigners (and anyone else) can order, prepay, and then get it delivered at the preferred pharmacy or GP or hospital for injection

  12. Avatar

    Carl

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    I’m 40 year’s farang live in thai , don’t have any interest to do vaccine . not scared about virus have 0,03 % under
    70 age mortality , more scared about driving a car or motorbike in thailand )

  13. Avatar

    Jean-Pierre

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Question : if you are not a Thai, is not it logical (and safer) to claim the vaccination from your Embassy/Consulate, with drugs approved by your own country ?
    What is the point of having costly representations, all saying “we are here to protect and represent you”, and not helping their own citizens on this planetary issue ?

    • Avatar

      Frank Leboeuf

      Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      Yes Jean-Pierre. We hope that the French embassy will follow the same procedure they had in 2009, on a larger scale.
      Nothing is confirmed yet, but the “caisse des francais a l’etranger” would be involved.
      Hopefully other EU countries will follow, it would make sense to have a EU directive on the subject.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:33 am

      Contrary to popular belief foreign embassies aren’t their country’s sovereign territory, so supplying and administering drugs that aren’t approved by Thailand would be a no-no.

      As you say, though, “what is the point of having costly representations, all saying “we are here to protect and represent you”, and not helping their own citizens”?

      Many people ask the same question 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Avatar

        Frank Leboeuf

        Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 10:56 am

        That would be done in agreement with local authorities, and since the people concerned would not be citizens (please don’t drag double-citizenship in this 😉 ), the host country would most likely show little resistance to the idea.

        Again, it has been done before, it is nothing new, and is currently under official discussion.
        I wish I could post links, but I’m sure you can google them.

        I’m sure you’ll agrre that what is new, however, is this worlwide pandemic, it’s an entirely new situation, with unprecendented consequences, leading to unprecendented decisions and actions.

        My advice would be to focus on facts for now. The USA embassy has stated one thing, this doesn’t mean that all other countries will follow, and an alternative approach is currently under discussion for at least one EU country, should their citizens not have access to nationalvaccination campaigns.

        I’m sure you’ll agree that the alternative, askings unvaccinated citizens to “fly hone” to get vaccinated, is an unsexy as it is unrealistic.

        We’ll see which way the wind blows John.

        cheers

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 11:48 am

          Sorry, but where has it “been done before”?

          Embassies, including the French embassy, didn’t dish out vaccinations ignoring their host country’s regulations! … and since when did Thailand or any other country “show little resistance” to having their sovereignty and laws ignored and flouted just because those involved weren’t “citizens”???

          Turkey didn’t ignore Kashoggi getting chopped up at the Saudi embassy just because he was a Saudi!

          … and the alternative isn’t that “unvaccinated citizens “fly home” to get vaccinated” but that they (or their embassies, or their fairy godmothers) pay for vaccines which will be available here commercially – which the Thai authorities have ALREADY said will be the case, AS REPORTED HERE!

          • Avatar

            Frank Leboeuf

            Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 5:22 pm

            Listen John, you can argue all you want, I’m only echoing what the French government is saying regarding the current plans for future vaccination campaign for French citizens abroad (not just in Thailand).

            This will be done in accordance with the country, should the country not agree to provide the vaccine to foreigners in the country. No need to bring diplomatic law into this.

            I can’t post links but google “Grippe A(H1N1) – Assemblée nationale” for reports on the botched vaccination campaign – Again this is a completely different situation, but just brought up to illustrate that this has been done before, and given that the stakes are higher this time, there’s a good chance that something similar, on a larger scale, will be setup for French citizens living abroad in countries where the vaccine is not made available.

            I can’t post links, but here’s an example, you can google tranlate to get the gist.

          • Avatar

            Frank Leboeuf

            Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 5:34 pm

            So here is an update from the French Secretary of State in charge of French citizens abroad, Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE.

            The plan to vaccinate French citizens abroad in countries where the vaccine is not made available is also mentioned in official French Senate and Parliament publications I have also reference previously, after the issue was brought up in December.

            Remember that the guideline is the notion of equity and parity for French citizens in France and abroad, again as previously mentioned.

            Again, it has been done, it is not something that I am making up, and the modalities are currently under discussion at the French governmental level, and it will make the vaccine accessible for French expatriates in places where French citizens are not included in the vaccination system.

            There’s good chances that another solution will be made accessible in countries wsuch as Thailand as well, but this whole discussion started, let me remind you, but you saying, to summarize, that this would never be an option and had never been done, I quote “There’s no “chance” of it whatsoever – ask any embassy and they’ll tell you, just as the US embassy has.”
            This is just not true John, I hope you will retract this and we can move on.

            Hope this helps.
            cheers

            “A la suite de l’interpellation de la Sénatrice Evelyne Renaud-Garabedian – elle même questionnée par de nombreux Français – et d’autres de ses collègues quant à la vaccination des Français établis hors de France, Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE, secrétaire d’Etat chargé des Français de l’étranger, a tenu à apporter des réponses.

            Il est important de noter que lors de la grippe H1N1, le schéma d’organisation de la campagne de vaccination incluait, dès sa conception, les postes diplomatiques et consulaires. Cette fois ci, tout devrait dépendre de la situation locale.
            Des dispositifs similaires à celui déployé en France…

            Le secrétaire d’Etat a indiqué que la stratégie du Gouvernement français concernant la campagne de vaccination reposera sur le principe d’équité entre Français de l’étranger et ceux habitant sur le territoire national.

            Le schéma d’organisation de la campagne de vaccination sera divisé en 3 phases, comme en France : phase 1 : EHPAD, personnels en contact avec des personnes âgées ; phase 2 : personnes à risque ; phase 3 : reste de la population. Pour le moment, la campagne de vaccination n’a pas débuté en France et les premiers patients recevront une injection début janvier.

            Cette vaccination sera gratuite et non obligatoire. A ce stade, les pistes avancées pour pratiquer la vaccination sont : les médecins des postes, mais aussi éventuellement les Instituts Pasteur et les centres médico-sociaux (CMS).

            Par ailleurs, le secrétaire d’Etat a précisé la nécessité de garantir à tous les de l’étranger, leur conjoint et leurs enfants de passage en France, de pouvoir se faire vacciner gratuitement.

            Le Secrétaire d’Etat a insisté sur le fait que la stratégie vaccinale ne sera pas déployée à l’ensemble du réseau consulaire et s’adaptera selon la situation des pays et les campagnes de vaccination locale, dont la plupart des Etats n’ont pas encore arrêté officiellement le déroulement.

            Dans les pays où le vaccin sera disponible -tels que les Etats de l’Union européenne ou en Amérique du Nord – les Français seront invités à sen faire vacciner localement. Des aides pourraient être prévues pour les plus modestes.

            Il a ainsi demandé un audit – sous la forme d’un questionnaire détaillé envoyé aux postes consulaires – afin d’évaluer la situation et les besoins dans l’ensemble du réseau consulaire ainsi qu’une analyse des risques par pays (risque épidémique, stratégie et capacités vaccinales, résilience…)
            Les résultats sont attendus pour les premiers mois de l’année 2021.

            Le ministre a également souhaité une coordination au niveau européen et aimerait associer la Caisse des Français de l’étranger ainsi que les autres organismes de prise en charge des expatriés.
            Des questions encore en suspens

            De nombreuses inquiétudes persistent cependant.

            Tout d’abord sur le types de vaccins qui seront proposés par le MEAE aux Français de l’étranger qui pourraient ne pas avoir reçu l’agrément du pays de résidence.

            En second lieu, certains pays rendront la vaccination obligatoire, au contraire ne planifieront aucune campagne nationale ou bien la réserveront aux nationaux. Il faudra donc articuler la campagne française à ces impératifs et rendre la stratégie évolutive dans le temps.

            Enfin, la question de l’acheminement et de la conservation des doses de vaccins n’a pour le moment pas été évoquée.

            Une prochaine réunion aura lieu mi-janvier pour faire le point sur la situation avec les parlementaires des Français de l’étranger. “

  14. Avatar

    ItsThailife

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    If foreigners choosing to live in Thailand actually learnt the Thai language, which is the only way you can really immerse yourself into a countries culture, then they would find speaking a decent level of Thai would result in many places charging them the Thai rate rather than “farang” rate. I know this because i experience this first hand in many places ive been.
    Im dismayed by the number of foreigners with Thai wifes or girlfriends living in Thailand not being able to speak Thai. Of course they all know the basic swear words and silly remarks but i mean actually stringing proper sentences together.
    Rather than guzzling alcohol everyday go learn Thai. Even just to communicate with your wifes/girlfriends family, it really makes a massive difference.
    I know there are exceptions to this and some foreigners do speak Thai well, no doubt some of you who comment in here do as well. But i speak of the majority of foreigners who dont bother and still believe they have the same entitlement to everything as Thai nationals.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:40 am

      My view too, RTL, but before I learnt even basic Thai I still seldom came across it.

      Stu should speak it reasonably well, though, as he would need to for his interview for his permanent residency permit which is why I find it all a bit puzzling.

      • Avatar

        Stu

        Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 8:16 am

        Stu speaks thai.
        Which part is puzzling for ij?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 12:31 pm

          Amongst other things that you speak Thai and have permanent residency here but are so uninformed in some of your claims, such as there being a “government policy” of “two-tier pricing” for “property” when there’s very clearly no such policy as anyone who’s ever been to any Land Office would know;

          … that you think the Covid vaccine will cost 20k for farangs when all other vaccines are available at government hospitals for exactly the same price as for Thais who are outside the UCS or SSS.

          … that’s a bit puzzling given the amount of time, effort and cost involved in getting a Thai residence permit, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

          • Avatar

            Stu

            Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 12:43 pm

            Apologies for randomly selecting examples. I should have been precise. I guess the easiest thing is to concede to you ij. There is no 2 tier pricing in thailand and the thai government would never endorse charging foreigners more than thais for anything. Anyone who has experienced this was most likely mistaken or the victim of an unscrupulous individual and it is not at all indicitive of common practices here in the kingdom. No doubt you are correct and the covid vaccine will be available to all non thais at the same price as thais.

            You repeatedly raise the issue of my Thai residency permit which is odd. Do you have further questions about this process? Im happy to answer if it helps you sleep at night….:)

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Visa

Covid-19 test NOT required for visa extensions (at least not today)

Maya Taylor

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Covid-19 test NOT required for visa extensions (at least not today) | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pixy

No, you don’t, yes, you do… Expats are reeling in shock at the idea that there might be mixed messages circulating in relation to Thailand’s immigration requirements, not to mention the announcements (and retractions) published in the nation’s English-language media outlets.

It all began over the weekend, when the nation’s favourite blogger, Richard Barrow, shared the news that foreigners who wished to remain in the Kingdom would need a negative Covid-19 test. According to his post, this update to the country’s immigration law was published in the Royal Gazette on December 25, taking effect from January 25. Needless to say, Richard’s post attracted hundreds of comments from the bewildered, the despairing, and the angry, not to mention the usual slew of social media epidemiologists.

Covid-19 test NOT required for visa extensions (at least not today) | News by The Thaiger

Twitter/Richard Barrow in Thailand

Yesterday, an article published by Khaosod English also stated that Covid-19 testing would be required for all visa extensions. The story has since been removed and replaced with a retraction, following a statement issued by Archayon Kraithong from the Immigration Bureau.

The story was also picked up by The Phuket News, who spoke to the deputy chief of Phuket Immigration, Nareuwat Putthawiro. He confirmed that his office had received no such order from the powers-that-be in Bangkok or from regional headquarters in Songkhla. The immigration chief in Chon Buri said something similar.

Archayon’s original statement had claimed a negative Covid-19 test would be a requirement for all types of visa extensions. Within an hour, he was forced to backpedal and apologise for the… well, you guessed it.

“I apologise for the misunderstanding. It will only apply to certain types of visa, most likely the permanent resident visa.”

Archayon says his office is now waiting for the Council of State to provide an interpretation of the update published in the Royal Gazette last month, which saw Covid-19 added to the list of diseases foreigners must be clear of in order to take up residency in the Kingdom. The virus now joins other prohibited ailments such as elephantiasis, leprosy, and syphilis.

SOURCE: The Phuket News| Khaosod English

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

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Thailand

Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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