Thais first then foreigners will be vaccinated, possibly from August
The Thai government has promised to vaccinate all residents of Thailand, including non-Thai citizens, but priority will be given to citizens first and non-citizens will possibly have to wait until August to register for vaccination, according to government officials.
“Thailand has a policy to vaccinate everyone in the country, to achieve herd immunity. There is no distinction between Thais and foreigners. The Thai government will provide vaccines to everyone in Thailand,” Bangkok City Hall’s Health Department Director Panruedee Manomaipiboon said in an online press conference yesterday (Thursday).
“The (Public Health) Ministry is planning to vaccinate Thai nationals first, otherwise they may question why they have not yet received it, when they are Thai,” said Panruedee.
The health official said non-Thai citizens, who are not in target groups, will be able to register for vaccination “the month following” the June-July timeframe for vaccination of high-risk groups, mainly those aged 60+, with certain underlying health issues, those at risk of COVID-19 exposure or in crowded communities.
The main groups of foreigners who have already been inoculated are labour workers and those found in cluster outbreaks, according to the City Hall.
Other non-Thais to be vaccinated are pink card holders (Permanent Residents) in vulnerable groups, who have registered for vaccination, and foreign diplomats, on a voluntary basis.
Over 1.4 million people have received their 1st dose to date, while more than 700,000 people have been fully vaccinated, with Sinovac’s CoronaVac and Astrazeneca. 16 million people are expected to be vaccinated in June and July.
Last night, the US-made Moderna vaccine was approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use, with private hospitals looking to procure it as a commercial alternative to the state inoculation program.