The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reassures that all people in Thailand, including foreigners regardless of nationality, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Dr. Opas Kankawinpong, Director-General of the MOPH Disease Control Department, the government’s policy is to achieve herd immunity of about 70% of the population – or 50 million people, based on estimates of 67 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents.
“Nobody is safe until everyone is safe,” said Dr. Opas. “Vaccines will be provided for anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreigners, if they want the vaccine, they can get it. Rest assured that Thailand’s mass vaccination program will follow the international practices of public health.”
The government plans to obtain 100 million doses by the end of this year, sufficient to vaccinate 50 million people with two doses each. More vaccination centers will be open, in addition to the services provided at public and private hospitals, in time for the country’s mass vaccination rollout, which is scheduled to begin in June.
Thailand ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be locally produced and delivered between June and December. From Sinovac, Thailand received 2.5 million doses between late February and April and will receive 3.5 million more doses this month. From other suppliers, the government plans to obtain 37 million doses to be delivered within this year.
The government expects the nationwide vaccine rollout to complete within four to seven months, or between September and December 2021.
The mass vaccination program for anybody living in Thailand will allow the country to reopen safety to international tourists.
Phuket will be the first to lift quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists from July onwards, followed by Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chonburi (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai from October.
This means 70% of the population in these areas, including residents, workers in tourism-related businesses, and migrant workers, must be vaccinated to safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 before the reopening timeline.