Thai health ministry now says they will be giving free jabs to expats

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Daleinpattaya
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Thai health ministry now says they will be giving free jabs to expats

Post by Daleinpattaya »

Thai health ministry denies they are giving free jabs to expats - Thais come first.

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/121606 ... ome-first/. With several pages of comments

 
The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand has denied that they are giving free Covid-19  jabs to foreign expats living in Thailand.
 
This comes as some expats went on Thaivisa to say they had successfully registered for the jabs for the over 60s in June and July. 
 
Print media in Thailand quoted the ministry as strongly denying this was the case. 
 
Rungruang Kitpati said that vaccines right now were reserved for high risk Thais and Thais in high risk areas. 
 
Expats would have to wait for further details from the government though they were told there would be more alternatives later and not to worry.
 
They would be able to get jabs when there was a "surplus". 
 
The message as reported in the media was clear: Thais would be given priority in the vaccine rollout. 
 
Some Thaivisa members had reported on related threads that they had been successful in registering. Others said they were unable to. 
 
Yet more said they would wait until they could pay for a vaccination at a private hospital where they may get a choice of VAX. 

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Re: Thai health ministry denies they are giving free jabs to expats - Thais come first.

Post by Jun »

The expats ought to be making some noise about such racist statements, just to keep the pressure on.

I expect the number of resident expats is small and they ought to be given the same access to vaccines as the Thais, as in other civilized nations.

Of course, tourists and anyone who arrives in Thailand in order to get a vaccine should be excluded.

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Re: Thai health ministry denies they are giving free jabs to expats - Thais come first.

Post by Gaybutton »

I have no objection if Thailand really does intend to take care of their own first. However, if it becomes mandatory for expats already living in Thailand to be vaccinated, that's where I would be complaining if vaccines are not even made available to expats unless they pay some exorbitant price.

The article and other news I've seen does not say expats won't be able to get vaccinated at all. It says "vaccines right now were reserved for high risk Thais and Thais in high risk areas" and will become available to expats, along with the rest of the Thai population, later. That makes sense to me and I see nothing racist about it.

It comes as no surprise to me that the story keeps changing. For me it will be a surprise if the story doesn't change again - and again and again and again . . .

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Re: Thai health ministry denies they are giving free jabs to expats - Thais come first.

Post by Ruthrieston »

Given that the majority of expats are elderly and many will have underlying conditions which place them in the high risk category this is wrong. I have no problem with paying for the vaccine and getting a choice which vaccine I would take, but given that the "government'" is clearly blocking the private hospitals from being able to purchase the vaccine their actions towards expats is unacceptable

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Re: Thai health ministry denies they are giving free jabs to expats - Thais come first.

Post by Daleinpattaya »

The most interesting thing about this 6 May thread on ThaiVisa is the six pages of comments … all and sundry.

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/121612 ... for-a-jab/

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Re: Thai health ministry denies they are giving free jabs to expats - Thais come first.

Post by Gaybutton »

One of the things that manages to raise my eyebrows is how some among the powers-that-be always seem so shocked and surprised when farang complain about their decisions and they can't imagine why anyone is complaining.

Farang expat: You promised us we would be able to get vaccinated, free, just like all the Thais.

Powers-that-be: Did we? We must have had our fingers crossed.

Anyone besides me remember when the loudest complaint was when shops and stores everywhere stopped handing out plastic bags and you had to bring your own bag . . .?
___________________________________________________________________________________

A shot in the arm: foreign residents and their eligibility for a jab

by Veena Thoopkrajae

May 5, 2021

Thailand’s foreign residents are often left scratching their heads at the confusing and sometimes apparently contradictory information on Covid-19 vaccines and their eligibility for a jab

While many Thais are talking about their Covid-19 vaccine choices, if indeed there are any, and vaccination schedules, a large number of expats have been left clueless as to whether they have access to vaccines and if so, which, when and how.

A blog post on Mahidol University’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases’ Thai Travel Clinic website dated April 4 has so far proved the most reliable source ( https://www.thaitravelclinic.com/blog/t ... igner.html ). The website provides basic information ranging from the vaccine brands that are licensed and available in Thailand, the importers, the target population of this vaccine, whether the vaccine is free for foreigners too, if it’s available in hospitals or clinics, and how expats living in Thailand can get their jabs.

The information includes the option of going back to their own country if they do not want to wait in Thailand. But with the pandemic showing no real signs of abating, travelling remains difficult and the medical appointment processes in their own countries, not to mention the quarantine requirements they would face on their return, make this impractical not to mention expensive.

Since that blogpost, an announcement by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has provided some light at the end of the tunnel. The CCSA confirmed recently that all people, including foreigners regardless of their nationality, would receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Other details, however, are not yet finalized though enquiries through the Covid 1422 hotline suggest that online registration for expats will open in July for appointments in August and beyond. The vaccine, no brand specified, will apparently be free although a doctor’s fee might be applicable.

Still, hundreds of more questions remain unanswered.

A healthcare industry source said that some provinces already have clear plans on foreigners and vaccination. In provinces like Chonburi where tourism and the industrial sector are key economic drivers, the policy is clear: Priority groups to receive the vaccine are the elderly and people with some chronic diseases and health risks, then people in the tourism industry and those in the industrial sector, including expats. Next in the queue will be the general public. The schedule, however, depends on the availability of vaccines.

According to the National Vaccine Institute, more vaccines will be arriving soon. Compared to only 2.5 million doses in the past few months, 3.5 million doses will be delivered in May alone and the locally produced AstraZeneca should be online sometime in June. The government plans to obtain 100 million doses by the end of this year, sufficient to vaccinate 50 million people.

So far, approximately one million doses have found their way into arms with 400,000 people already having received their second shot. Vaccine registration for Thais and so-called ‘Pink Card’ holders, a type of Thai ID available to foreigners who meet certain criteria, opened on the Mor Phrom app on May 1 and reports have, for the main, been mainly positive, with hospital appointments given for June.

Since vaccine producers do not sell vaccines directly to private sector, but only through the government, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has said it will act on their behalf. The GPO has to work closely with private hospitals on how many doses they need and then the GPO will place orders with the producers.

For Luci Standley, a British national who has lived and worked in Thailand for almost 40 years and is now retired, vaccination can’t come soon enough.

“I’m almost 70 and my husband is 83. We are both on medication for high blood pressure and therefore could well become seriously ill if we became infected with Covid. We are happy to leave the free vaccines to the Thai public and appreciate that the government is giving them priority, which is as it should be. I just hope the private hospitals are able to get in some stocks in the next few months. Neither of us has a preference for the brand of vaccine providing it is suitable for seniors and have no problem paying for it. That said, if no progress has been made on that front by the time Mor Phrom allows foreign residents to register and make appointments, I will definitely take that route,” she said, adding that she has found the lack of coherent information more frustrating than the slow roll-out of the vaccine programme.

Chris Sedlaczek, a 50-something Austrian living in central Thailand, agrees, telling Thai PBS World: “I’ll get the vaccine here in Thailand. Pfizer or Moderna would be my preference as both seem to provide the highest level of protection. Money is not an issue. I prefer to pay and leave free vaccines to people who need them.”

Asked whether he’d leave Thailand to get a jab, he said: “Although lots of time has been lost due to inactivity in procuring vaccines for the public, there’s no reason why I should search for inoculation outside Thailand.”

It was recently reported that Moderna has now submitted all the documents required to register with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration. When approved, it will join Astra Zeneca, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson on the list of vaccines available for use. Approval of the Pfizer, Moderna and SputnikV vaccines is currently pending but once complete and orders delivered, should give a considerable boost to the vaccine effort.

While waiting for the vaccine license from the FDA, private hospitals are making significant moves too. Many have conducted surveys of vaccine needs by publishing online survey forms. Customers are asked to fill the questionnaire if they are interested in receiving the vaccine through these private hospitals. The survey enables these private hospitals to work out how much vaccine they should buy and plan for the service.

Seeing private hospitals as their last resort, a large number of people rushed to complete the surveys with the result that these came to an abrupt end as the interest was simply too high.

While the vaccine is given free by the government, a few private hospitals have come up with special packages to add value to their vaccination service. Some launched new health check-up programs that include blood tests and a one-night stay at the hospital ostensibly to monitor for any undesirable side effects following the shot. Prices for the service range from 10,000 baht up to 20,000 baht.

“For a retired foreigner living in Thailand, this is too much,” commented one expat who has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years.

In the meantime, foreigners can only hope that more vaccines arrive and these become available through the private sector, access to the shots will increase.

https://www.thaipbsworld.com/a-shot-in- ... for-a-jab/

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Re: Thai health ministry now says they will be giving free jabs to expats

Post by 2lz2p »

Here is another article saying the Ministry of Health spokesperson who said only Thais could register and receive the Covid vaccination misspoke. This article is based on the CCSA spokesperson saying foreigners can and have already received a vaccination. It mentions the following:
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
The article can be read here: https://thethaiger.com/news/national/ex ... gistration

Another article from a Thai language source apparently has comments made by the Chief of the Private Hospital Association of Thailand saying the Moderna vaccine will be made available in private hospitals and their members have agreed to limit the cost to no more than 3,000 baht (total for two doses) - the information is provided in English by Thaivisa.com (https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/121617 ... paign=news. Thaivisa has a link to the Thai language article which is their source: https://www.sanook.com/news/8376802/

Stay tuned folks! It seems whether you can or you can't is changing daily.

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Re: Thai health ministry now says they will be giving free jabs to expats

Post by Gaybutton »

2lz2p wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 3:32 pm
Stay tuned folks! It seems whether you can or you can't is changing daily.
The goings on with this are almost laughable. Just as I said in a post above, "For me it will be a surprise if the story doesn't change again - and again and again and again"

Oh well, who knows? Maybe we'll all end up having to get the vaccine from eBay or Lazada . . .

Actually it does seem clear now that expats will get the vaccine. What we don't know yet is which one(s) it will be, when it will be available to us, where we can get it, and what costs might be involved. I believe at some point immigration is going to make it mandatory and I hope they do just that.

It would be nice if eventually it will be safe to stop wearing the face masks and all venues can return to normal operation, but for now first things first.

And just think - then we'll all get to wonder when the next pandemic will be . . .

The latest about this begins 1 minute into the video.



Here is yet another article:
_______________________

Official assures foreigners they will get vaccines

6 May 2021

A high-ranking official has confirmed that authorities plan to include 3 million foreigners living in the country in its mass vaccination programme to protect the entire population, amid concerns over the scope of vaccine access.

"Anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreign, if they want the vaccine, they can get it," Opas Kankawinpong, head of the disease control department, told a briefing.

"No one is safe until everyone is safe," he added.

The government has repeatedly said foreigners would be offered vaccines.

But concerns among expatriates have been raised in recent weeks, with some venting frustrations on social media about a lack of public information, problems registering or confusion over private vaccine availability.

The country needs to immunise about 50 million people to achieve herd immunity of about 70% of the population, based on estimates of 67 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents, he said.

The mass immunisation programme has not started yet. Only frontline workers are getting the shots from the stock of 2.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccines.

Its main source of vaccines will be a local manufacturer set to produce AstraZeneca's vaccines after June.

Anxiety over vaccines has risen as the country deals with its biggest outbreak so far, with more than two-thirds of its 336 fatalities recorded in the past month alone.

New daily infections have been stable at around 2,000 since mid-April. There were 1,911 new coronavirus cases and 18 deaths announced on Thursday.

The Public Health Ministry is working on other ways to include non-Thais in the vaccination programme, including via mobile applications or direct contact from hospitals, according to the Foreign Ministry.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... t-vaccines

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Re: Thai health ministry now says they will be giving free jabs to expats

Post by 2lz2p »

Here is a link to a video of the English language briefing by the CCSA spokesperson - as of yesterday. She comments on the issue re Expats getting the vaccine at 7.28 minutes into the video and about registering for the vaccine at 10.50 (same as mentioned in the article - they are looking into how it is to be done).

The link to the video is: https://www.facebook.com/thailandprd/vi ... 662511263/

She also mentioned at the end that the CCSA English briefing will be conducted from 1:00pm to 1:15pm daily.

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Re: Thai health ministry now says they will be giving free jabs to expats

Post by Gaybutton »

I am certainly grateful to the media for providing information, but there is almost always a problem.

"Anybody who wants to be vaccinated can register via the provided channels"

As I see it, that's the problem. Wouldn't it be nice if they would tell us what those 'provided channels' are?

Once in a while the news articles contain a link to these sorts of things, but all too often they don't and we have to find them ourselves and post them if we succeed. So, if and when we get links we can click on to register or they come out with English language apps on which we can register, we'll post them. But at the moment I don't know of any links to post. If you do, please let us know.
___________________________________________________________

All expats in Thailand eligible for vaccine: Disease Control Dept chief

All foreign nationals living in Thailand can get a Covid-19 vaccine if they want, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said on Thursday

The Nation

May 6, 2021

He was responding to questions related to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s speech earlier this week. The premier had said everybody in Thailand will get inoculated on a voluntary basis as per international standards.

“The PM was referring to all persons living in Thailand, regardless of whether they are Thai or foreigners,” he said. “If a person wants a vaccine, they will get it no matter what their nationality.”

Opas added that 70 per cent of the population must be inoculated to build herd immunity against the virus.

“Currently, about 70 million people are living in Thailand – 67 million are Thais and 3 million are foreigners,” he said. “That means about 50 million people in Thailand need to be vaccinated for herd immunity, and the government has plans to procure a total of 100 million doses to achieve this.

“Anybody who wants to be vaccinated can register via the provided channels, though people with chronic conditions will be given priority,” he said.

He was referring to the Mor Phrom (Doctors Ready) platform on Line application, which the Public Health Ministry has launched for vaccine registration since May 1.

Priority will be given to those at risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus. They are persons above the age of 60 as of January 1 and those with chronic diseases, such as severe respiratory syndrome, heart and coronary diseases, kidney diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer patients under treatment, and obese patients weighing over 100kg or having a body mass index exceeding 35.

People who do not have a smartphone have the option of booking their vaccine at their hospital or at a local public health office.

https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000595

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