At least two government agencies on Thursday confirmed that foreigners in Thailand will be included in the country’s mass vaccination program.
“Anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreign, if they want the vaccine, they can get it,” head of the disease control department, Dr Opas Kankawinpong told a briefing.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe,” he added.
The government has repeatedly said foreigners, which includes expats and migrant workers, and which totals in excess of 3 million people, would be offered vaccines.
However, skepticism and concern has grown among the expatriate community in recent weeks, with many venting on social media and online forums at their frustration about the lack of information and confusion with regards to registering for vaccinations or being able to purchase them privately from hospitals.
The confusion and frustration was intensified this week after the Bangkok Post ran a story, which cited an official at the Ministry of Public Health, who claimed Thailand had no plans to give free vaccines to expats.
However, on Thursday the government moved to assure foreigners that they would be able to receive the vaccine.
In addition to the comments from Dr Opas, a spokesperson for Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) also confirmed the government’s plan to include foreigners in its vaccination program.
The spokesperson confirmed that foreigners will likely be able to register for the vaccines from June, during the second phase of vaccinations.
Thailand is currently in its first phase of its vaccine rollout, with priority being given to frontline medical staff, the elderly, those living in high risk areas and those with severe or chronic health conditions.
The second phase of vaccinations will begin in June and last until the end of the year.
During this period foreigners will be able to register for the vaccine, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that the Ministry of Public Health is looking at ways to facilitate foreigners registering for the vaccine.
The likely option is that people will be able to register via mobile app, which will be released by the Ministry of Public Health at a later date.
The government is also working to enable people to purchase vaccines from private hospitals. More information on this will also be announced at a later date.
You can watch the English language briefing from the CCSA regarding foreigners receiving vaccinations below: