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

THURSDAY, MAY 06, 2021

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 (May 6).

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.