The latest plan to register some foreigners in Thailand for Covid-19 vaccination has now been uploaded by the Department of Disease Control (DDC) via the well-thumbed thailandintervac website. Expats over 60 or those suffering from a battery of serious diseases can pre-register at Phyathai 2 Hospital in Bangkok, but only between 9 am and noon on July 12 or any of the following four mornings. The vaccination period is promised as 19-30 July (no weekends) with only AstraZeneca and Sinovac on offer. No mention of cash or payment.
Or there’s another way according to the DDC. You can contact Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, also in Bangkok, and attempt to pre-register with opening hours not revealed. The hospital’s current website does not appear to publicize this service, but it is open to web-gazers to send a message about any medical subject. You are told to expect an answer in 48 hours. According to the DDC, those pre-registering and then registering (there is a difference) will need to wait until they have some concrete information from whichever hospital you contacted. Perhaps even both.
The latest information rollout replaces at least a dozen previous schemes promoted by the Tourist Authority of Thailand, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration and other government agencies. The first last April was an instruction to enroll with the Thais on the Mor Phrom app (Doctor is Ready), followed by various suggestions to turn up at your nearest vaccination center, or enlist with the medical facility that held your records, or write to the association representing private hospitals in the kingdom to request a form.
In mid-June the now withdrawn thailandintervac website took over responsibility, but was soon overwhelmed by the volume of inquiries and seems to have leaked private data as well. The most recent aborted enterprise was the invitation to register at any hospital from July 1. Sadly many hospitals had never heard of the scheme and those that were aware had sold out their 150 or 200 slots within the first hour.
Pattaya Mail tried to contact Phyathai 2 and Samitivej for confirmation of the latest strategy, but were told the details were still being worked on. One doctor did tell us that the vaccination of foreigners was just as important as that for Thais because “nobody is safe until all are safe.” Can’t argue with that.