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COVID-19 vaccine available for foreigners nationwide

COVID-19 vaccine available for foreigners nationwide

BANGKOK: The Public Health Ministry plans for at least one COVID-19 vaccination centre per province for foreign tourists paying for shots, while foreign residents will continue to get free jabs.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 24 January 2023, 05:22PM

People get COVID-19 shots at the Thai-Japanese Youth Centre in Din Daeng district, Bangkok, early this month. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb / Bangkok Post

People get COVID-19 shots at the Thai-Japanese Youth Centre in Din Daeng district, Bangkok, early this month. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb / Bangkok Post

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), said on Tuesday (Jan 24) there should be vaccination centres in all provinces because foreign tourists did not limit their visits to only major provinces, reports the Bangkok Post.

The vaccination service would be provided on a voluntary basis and the government would use only the vaccines that it procured, he said.

Foreigners staying long-term in the country would continue to receive free COVID-19 vaccines, in line with government policy to vaccinate everyone living here against the disease, Dr Opas said. This included businesspeople, workers and diplomats and their family members.

Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, Director-General of Department of Disease Control (DDC), said his department provided a vaccination service at Bang Rak Medical Centre in Bangrak district and the Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention in Bang Khen district.

The department provided the same service at its travel medicine clinics in Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Songkhla provinces, and also in Phuket province**.

Foreign tourists must pay B800 for a shot of AstraZeneca vaccine or B1,000 per Pfizer vaccine dose, plus a B380 medical service fee, Dr Tares said.

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The department had not so far given approval for private organisations to provide the service. It was still in the planning stage, he said.

Dr Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn, Director-General of MoPH’s Department of Medical Services, said his department provided a  vaccination service at its Institute of Dermatology, Lerdsin Hospital, Rajavithi Hospital and Nopparat Rajathanee Hospital and at Chiangmai Neurological Hospital.

The Institute of Dermatology and Rajavithi Hospital were main vaccination centres because they were near areas where foreign tourists stay and transport networks, and staff were long familiarised with providing services for foreigners, he said.

** Phuket health officials have yet to announce where tourists and expats can get the jabs being offered under the new scheme.

At last report, Phuket Vice Governor Danai Sunantarod announced that booster jabs were avaliable at main government hospitals on the island on specified days. (See story here.)

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