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Buriram sets deadlines for vaccine sign-up, imposes penalties

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Buriram, home of Phanom Rung Historical Park, is the first province in Thailand to impose penalties for not vaccinating. (via PublicDomainPictures.net)

Buriram is pushing hard to get everyone signed up for Covid-19 vaccination and plan on penalties for any at-risk people who refuse the vaccine. The Issan province in Northeast Thailand bordering Cambodia is now the first province in the country to impose punishments for refusal to vaccinate. The government has been strongly urging everyone living or working in Buriram over the age of 18 to comply and apply for vaccinations by the end of this month.

The governor has asked all residents to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment form along with their application. And to show he means business, the Buriram government has levied penalties 10,000 baht fine and the possibility of 1 month in prison for those who fail to meet the May 31 deadline.

Several different avenues have been created to try to get the local population signed up for vaccination. Online registration has been launched and – for those that are not glued to their phones or computers – hospitals, health clinics, and other health offices are open and accepting walk-in applications. Public health volunteers are also canvassing neighbourhoods going door-to-door to sign people up.

The Disease Control Department is monitoring all applications along with local health officials. Any application found to be at high risk for Covid-19 infection will be given a specific vaccination appointment right away. They will be assigned a specific location, date, and time to receive their jabs.

The Buriram government is serious about getting everyone at risk vaccinated right away, and aside from the 10,000 baht in penalties and threat of 30 days in prison for not applying for inoculation, harsher punishment will be enforced for those who are determined to be at risk and refuse to be vaccinated.

Those who refuse could receive a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht. The current Emergency Decree for Covid-19 allows for up to 40,000 baht in fines, while the Communicable Diseases Act imposes another 20,000 baht punishment. Buriram officials intend to enforce these penalties to convince at-risk people to be vaccinated and curb the spread of Covid-19 in the province.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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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.

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