Thai health officials skeptical about vaccine passports

Thai health officials are not convinced about the “vaccine passport” idea, which would allow travellers, who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Thailand without the need to endure 14-days of quarantine.

The Director-General of the Disease Control Department, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong announced yesterday that the vaccine passport is only a suggestion, because the World Health Organisation has suggested that there is not enough evidence to show that the COVID-19 vaccine will fully protect people from getting infected.

Dr. Opas believes, however, that, in the future, vaccine passports will be used by travellers to prevent the spread of the virus, similar to a yellow fever vaccination certificate, which is used by travellers from Africa and South America to prove that they have been vaccinated against the disease.

He also stated that the WHO will have to develop the rules as to when and how the vaccine passports can be used, in order to make them an international requirement, in accordance with International Health Regulations 2005.

Although many countries have started inoculation of their populations against COVID-19, he said that no country has adopted the passport idea yet. Therefore, the 14-day quarantine is the most appropriate measure for the time being.

Many tourism-related bodies, such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand, suggested the idea of vaccine passports as a way of attracting foreign tourists back into Thailand and of boosting the ailing economy.

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