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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Foreign expats are running wild to get a vaccine, unfortunately too late for many!


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Foreigners living in Thailand heard on Saturday about another chance to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. But by the time most could log in and register, the opportunity was gone. Embassies of several countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Austria, sent messages to their citizens on Saturday morning saying that the Thai government had assigned an unspecified number of doses to foreigners.

The injections were due to be given yesterday at SCG headquarters in Bangkok’s Bang Sue, and anyone who wanted an injection had to fill out an online form by 12 noon on Saturday. By the time many foreigners heard about the offer, it was already Saturday afternoon.

A message from the Australian embassy on Saturday morning said vaccines would be available from 1 p.m. Sunday to anyone who registered before 10 a.m. Saturday. It is unknown how many people were lucky enough to be online at the time so they could try to sign up. Registration was by email and the embassy said those who were successful would be “contacted” about the appointment.

Canada’s embassy informed its citizens that they could apply for an AstraZeneca shot until 12 noon Saturday and would be contacted the same day at 8 p.m. if their application was successful. “The Government of Canada is acting only as a messenger in this initiative and makes no warranties or representations as to the safety of the vaccine’s efficacy.”

Few details were available about the initiative, which was organized by the Thai government agency at such short notice, whether another session was scheduled and how many doses were available.

Many ex-pats in Thailand find it difficult to register for injections, even if they are over 60 or in high-risk groups. The online registration systems for both Thais and foreigners are generally ‘non-functional. Some ex-pats took to heart when the Thailand intervac site came online, but it soon went into hibernation.

BUT DON’T DATE: An online registration portal for foreigners is still in the works, said Tanee Sangrat, the spokesman for the State Department.

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