Vaccines to be extended to resident foreigners from June

The Thai government will provide Covid-19 vaccines for foreigners living and working in Thailand by June, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

“The policy is to provide the vaccines to every group, regardless of nationality, but since there are a limited number of vaccines at the beginning, there is a need to allocate them to the people who needed them the most first,” said Thanee Saengrat, the ministry’s spokesman.

He said these first priority groups include medical workers, elderly people, those who have any of seven chronic diseases, people living in known clusters, people living in the border areas and foreign health volunteers.

However, the “Mor Prom” (Doctors Ready) platform for people to register for a jab still cannot register foreigners. The government is working on other channels for non-citizens.

Thanee said that once the locally made AstraZeneca’s vaccines started to roll out in June, the vaccination programme will start to cover foreigners that are working at embassies, international institutions and foreigners legally resident in Thailand, based on their health and willingness to be vaccinated.

For Thai people looking to travel abroad to get a Covid vaccine in the United States, the ministry had warned that they should double check the vaccination programme in each location before travelling.

“The vaccination policy in each state is different,” Thanee said. “Thai people travelling to be vaccinated in the Unites States should study the vaccination program of each state carefully,” he added.

He said most US states only provide vaccines to foreigners studying or working there. Only some states are providing vaccines for visitors.

“Florida and Alabama have already come up with measures to prevent vaccination tours from abroad because they only want to provide vaccines for people that have a residency in their state,” he added.

His comments came after Dr Opas Kankawinpong, chief of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said on May 4 that there is no such thing as a vaccination tour to the United States, which led to criticism from people that have travelled and received a free Covid-vaccine jab in California already.

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