Pattaya ‘Sandbox’ in jeopardy as 86% still not vaccinated

The government is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. But most can’t until enough effective vaccine arrives and an expedient way is put in place to get them into people’s arms.

If Pattaya hopes to open as a Sandbox destination in August, officials must step up vaccination efforts as more than 86% of Pattaya’s population, including expats, remains unvaccinated.

PBTA President Boonanan Pattanasin said only about 60,000 people out of 450,000, the official number needed to achieve herd immunity in Pattaya, have received their first or second jabs.

Most have been given the Sinopharm vaccine, which has proven only 50% effective. It is still unknown whether the Sinopharm vaccine would be at all effective against the Delta variant currently thriving in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Public Health Ministry officials said the vaccines have arrived and expect the delivery will be on time … in September.

Pattaya’s plans for “Sealed Route” tourism will be presented to CCSA when finished. Officials are waiting for the central government to guide them how to proceed.

With hotels and local businesses closing down at an alarming rate, the government has launched a public relations campaign to convince people it is safe to get vaccinated. So far, with not enough vaccines to go around, the effort is moot.

Too many expats remain confused as to how, when and where they can get vaccinated. Those who apply online receive a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” response.

PBTA President Boonanan Pattanasin and representatives of eight tourism organizations in Pattaya have met with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to drive Pattaya’s tourism plan for August 1.