Foreigners will have access to the free public vaccine programme in the government’s effort to vaccinate 70% of the population by the end of 2021. However, a private sector initiative being formulated through private hospitals in Thailand is to offer the Moderna vaccine at a price tag of ฿3,000 for two doses including service and insurance.
There are plans to alter the ‘Mor Prom’ online vaccination app to cater for expats in Thailand as a top government official has again assured the foreign community that they are included in the vaccination rollout which will be ramped up in June and July when phase 2 of the programme being targeted at 16 million people, begins. In the meantime, a private-sector option where two doses of the Moderna jab can be purchased for ฿3,000 including two doses, a clinical charge, tax and insurance is being finalised by a network of private hospitals in the kingdom who are working closely with government agencies.
Following last week’s assurances from Dr Opas Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday gave further clarification on the kingdom’s vaccine programme and assured foreigners that they are being considered for all stages of the current rollout which is proceeding in three phases.
Currently, the first phase is focused on the critical battle against the virus in Bangkok’s inner-city districts and also in other areas of strategic importance such as first-line health personnel and emergency services.
Some foreigners are already vaccinated under phase one of the rollout targeting priority sectors
It is reported that some foreigners and expats have already been vaccinated under the programme which was being rolled out to key tourists hotspots such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Ko Samui until the strengthening third wave of infection led to priority shifting to areas hardest hit by the current outbreak.
On Tuesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Thani Saengrat revealed that access to the ‘Mor Prom’ vaccination application process was being reviewed with plans to adapt the system for use by foreigners without Thai national identification numbers but also continued to recommend that expats contact their local hospital.
The second phase begins in June and July as the AstraZeneca vaccine becomes available in large quantities from a plant in Thailand targeting 16 million people over 60s and those with underlying problems.
The third stage, targeted at all adults, will begin in August and the government’s goal is to have 70% of the population vaccinated by the end of 2021.
Commercial option for those willing to pay using the Moderna jab which is over 94% effective
Mr Thani also highlighted that plans are in the pipeline for commercial options provided by private hospitals where the public, including expats, can pay for their own vaccines.
There have been reports that the Moderna vaccine may be licensed in Thailand after the Private Hospital Association had a meeting last week with officials. Reports indicate that the Moderna vaccine may be ordered by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and supplied to private hospitals to create a second network or programme of vaccination for those willing to pay to get their own jabs.
The Moderna jab is an mRNA vaccine with a 94.1% efficiency rate at protecting against the virus.
It is also recommended for people with a range of underlying health issues including diabetes, hypertension and liver problems as well as chronic infections that are stable and controlled according to the World Health Organisation.
Vaccine including clinical services and insurance for ฿3,000 per person to be made available privately
Dr Chalerm Harnphanich who is the Chairman of the association and who also heads up Bangkok Chain Hospital Plc which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), has suggested that a two-shot vaccination package including clinical services, tax and insurance may be offered to the public at a price tag of ฿3,000 per person.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Public Health will be making sure that expats or foreigners are welcome during the second phase which begins in June for those over 60 or those with an underlying health condition to be followed by Phase 3 in August for all adults in the kingdom by all hospitals in Thailand and is also working on making available a central database linked to the ‘Mor Prom’ system to do this.