Mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign officially started today in Thailand. For foreigners living in Thailand, those who are 60 years old and above as well as those with certain underlying health conditions, will be given priority during this phase of vaccinations.
In Phuket and Koh Samui, tourist destinations said to be of “economic significance,” have already opened up registration for vaccinations for expats who work on the islands in an effort to reach herd immunity and reopen to foreign tourists by next month.
Thailand first started its Covid-19 immunisation campaign on February 28 with Public Health Minister Anutin Charvarnikul the first in the country to be injected with China’s Sinovac vaccine. The vaccine has since been declared safe and effective for healthy adults over 60 years old. Both are approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation.
Both the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are being used in Thailand’s immunisation campaign, need 2 doses to be effective against the coronavirus.
With more doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine shipped to Thailand and doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced locally by Siam Bioscience now available, Thailand is now accelerating vaccinations. Over just 2 hours this morning, 986 vaccination centers have opened up in Thailand and more than 140,000 people have been inoculated.
Many provinces have already begun public relations campaigns for vaccinations for foreign residents including Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Hua Hin, Natapanu says.
In the current phase of vaccination, those eligible are expats who are 60 years old and above as well as foreigners who have the following underlying health conditions that put that at risk of a severe Covid-19 infection: severe chronic respiratory disease, cancer treated with chemotherapy, 5th stage chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes and obesity. Those with underlying illnesses will need to provide a copy of their medical records and prescriptions.