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Why can't the Embassy vaccinate British people in Thailand?


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2 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Agreed.... 

 

The best thing the British Embassy (and all other Embassies) can do is to lobby the Thai government for a faster approval process to approve the other vaccines which have not yet been approved (only AZ, Sinvac, Janssen have been approved in Thailand so far). 

 

Then ensure all foreign national have equal access to the vaccines at their local healthcare facility. 

 

Embassies can also assist in expediting export / import of the vaccines to speed up the process on a national level for Thailand.

 

 

 

Undertaking individual efforts to import a vaccines to each individual nationality will quite likely achieve a slower availability of the vaccine to many individuals. 

 

 

What you propose is not producing results after we are in this situation for months. Please think of other ways to take care of British citizens. That said, private hospitals would be a sensible place for shots if the Thai government would agree. Coordination with other embassies for importing in bulk would make sense.

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There has been a lot of discussions in various threads on the forum about this question. The reason the Embassy cannot provide vaccines for British people in Thailand is as follows: As users of the fo

Those working for the FCO and British Chamber of commerce fall under British residential status, continue to pay Tax in the UK and remain under the umbrella of the the NHS.    You’ll have to

They don't even want to provide you with a certificate of income, and you think they will go through the trouble to bring the vaccine to you, in Thailand,, because it is inconvenient for you to return

5 hours ago, Brierley said:

I just finished filing my self assessment and had the option to declare myself non-resident for the year. I decided instead to file as though I was UK resident, which I would have been, were it not for the virus. This resulted in me paying tax, big deal, I benefit sufficiently already from having a home there, having access to NHS, receiving my pension and having a UK passport. I don't feel the need to account for every Pound I spend in tax and then demand something in return. If I can't hand over 500 quid in tax to my government for the privilege of it all, there's something not quite right.

I was paying that in the 1990s and that was because I was sent offshore by my company, the other option was to lose my job.

 

From 2000 to 2008 I paid tax or withholding tax in a few countries that I never saw again and in 2008/9 when I was in NZ for a year I paid income tax there.

 

Also from 2000 I never had access to the NHS and fortunately my other pensions fell below the UK personal allowance.

 

In fact at one time I had 2 passports, 1 for most countries and another for "different" countries and I paid for them both. Neither was a privelege.

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4 hours ago, Excel said:

So if the staff are not vaccinated the embassy ceases to function. Well thats a bit of a stretch even for you. 98.8 % of this country has not been vaccinated but has it  ceased to function ? Until November no one in the UK had been vaccinated but did the UK government cease to function ? Man you should really question the logic of what you write before you write it as it is totally absurd.

Government continued to function, in a fashion, because there was no vaccine until November, as soon as there was a  vaccine, front line staff were the first to be vaccinated. If you think that the embassy is a vital function that must be kept running, which it is, front line staff must be vaccinated as soon as possible and their risk reduced, it's as simple as that. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Brierley said:

Government continued to function, in a fashion, because there was no vaccine until November, as soon as there was a  vaccine, front line staff were the first to be vaccinated. If you think that the embassy is a vital function that must be kept running, which it is, front line staff must be vaccinated as soon as possible and their risk reduced, it's as simple as that. 

Risk reduction is one thing, but I will repeat again it is totally absurd to claim that without vaccinations any organisation would cease to operate, and that includes the British Embassy. However my initial response was to the question of an apparent and deliberately misleading statement made by the consular staff which was blatantly untrue, which was and I quote "  it can not provide healthcare to British people outside of the UK". Unquote. So there are rules for one and another for others which we all now about but in politics economy with the truth is often the case. But that statement , by virtue of what had been confirmed earlier is , as I said untrue and thus unbecoming of the British Embassy.  I am appalled, but not surprised, that  the current Ambassador allowed something as untruthful as that to go public and accordingly now emailed the FCO requesting a formal response from the Minister both on the issue of his appointees issuing else statements and also requesting total numbers that the UK healthcare service has provided vaccinations for  British nationals overseas working in our Embassies or missions.

Edited by Excel
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1 hour ago, Excel said:

but I will repeat again it is totally absurd to claim that without vaccinations any organisation would cease to operate, and that includes the British Embassy.

Which I suppose is why no organization anywhere has ceased to operate because of the covid19 pandemic and the global economy is just tickety boo.......seriously, I mean seriously!

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14 hours ago, Led Lolly Yellow Lolly said:

 

With the greatest respect you've missed the point. Everyone in the UK is being vaccinated for free whether they've made NI contributions or not, even those living there without right to work or right of abode. The virus doesn't check your immigration status before deciding to spread or not.

 

 

 

 

I realise that now, thanks.  As a Brit who's been living in Thailand for 15 years I am still extremely proud of my country's health service, despite the current (and previous Tory) government's plans to undermine it.

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3 hours ago, Brierley said:

Which I suppose is why no organization anywhere has ceased to operate because of the covid19 pandemic and the global economy is just tickety boo.......seriously, I mean seriously!

Your failed arguments are getting even more absurd. Take a rest, you need one.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2021 at 2:23 PM, richard_smith237 said:

 

Answer is obvious.... 

 

They are still working for the British Government, continue to fall under the NHS umbrella and continue to pay British Taxes. 

 

Non-British staff at the Embassy and British Chamber of commerce are also working for the British Government.

 

It would be highly irregular to vaccinate only the British nationals... Imagine the optics of not vaccinating Thai staff when all others are vaccinated. Additionally, it would highly the stupidity of not vaccinating everyone in the work place so the work place is better protected. 

 

 

 

 

 

British council is a non government organisation and is operationally independent of the British goverment.All it does is receive a grant from the British government ( and free vaccinations for British and Thai staff). Your obvious Ignorance of that fact highlighlights the lack of facts for yours and others arguments.

Edited by Excel
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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Excel said:

British council is a non government organisation and is operationally independent of the British goverment.All it does is receive a grant from the British government ( and free vaccinations for British and Thai staff). Your obvious Ignorance of that fact highlighlights the lack of facts for yours and others arguments.

"The British Council is a charity governed by Royal Charter. It is also a public corporation and an executive nondepartmental public body (NDPB), sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Its headquarters are off Trafalgar Square, London".

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Council#:~:text=The British Council is a charity governed by Royal Charter,are off Trafalgar Square%2C London.

 

Accountability[edit]

Formally it is to its sponsoring department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, that the UK Parliamentary Table Office refers any parliamentary questions about the British Council.

 

 

Edited by Brierley
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On 5/8/2021 at 3:23 PM, Thomas J said:

One thing is for sure, you have the best and the brightest minds of all the governments around the world.  They will certainly marshal all the experts to contact the various governments, vaccine companies, logistic companies, and health care facilities.  They will present a list of expedited practices and write papers weighing the pro's and con's of each.  After careful deliberation they will reach a consensus on the more effective and efficient way to make those vaccines available.  However, that practice will not be actually put into place until they have tried every other conceivable alternative no matter how foolhardy it appeared upon first examination. 

Now we are no longer speaking of after the Thai population have been vaccinated, but starting 

"In the year Twenty Five Twenty Five, if man is still alive", as it says in the Zager and Evans song

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2021 at 5:32 AM, Led Lolly Yellow Lolly said:

With the greatest respect you've missed the point. Everyone in the UK is being vaccinated for free whether they've made NI contributions or not, even those living there without right to work or right of abode. The virus doesn't check your immigration status before deciding to spread or not.

 

The other point many seem to have missed is that Thailand has fully vaccinated less than 1% of Thais.  All the talk about reciprocity and fairness is moot if there isn't any vaccine.  Over 99% of Thais are in the same boat as foreigners as of today.  And apparently will be for many months.

 

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-reports-2419-new-coronavirus-cases-19-new-deaths-2021-05-08/

 

Edit:  I wonder if Reuters knows something, or if there's a misunderstanding:  The government expects 61 million shots of AstraZeneca to be produced locally from June. But these vaccinations and those from Moderna will not be offered free.

Edited by impulse
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1 hour ago, Brierley said:

"The British Council is a charity governed by Royal Charter. It is also a public corporation and an executive nondepartmental public body (NDPB), sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Its headquarters are off Trafalgar Square, London".

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Council#:~:text=The British Council is a charity governed by Royal Charter,are off Trafalgar Square%2C London.

 

Accountability[edit]

Formally it is to its sponsoring department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, that the UK Parliamentary Table Office refers any parliamentary questions about the British Council.

 

 

Good you can google , but it may impress others but not many.However despite your attempts to convince others none of the staff work for the British Government, so just get back to reality please because your googling skills are  further indicating your ignorance of the employment status of British Council staff. None are British goverment employees, all have received vaccinations at no cost to thenselves - is that really too difficult for you to understand ?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Excel said:

Your failed arguments are getting even more absurd. Take a rest, you need one.

I got bored with Brierley and put him on my ignore list.

Edited by billd766
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30 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

The British Council represents British Interests.... It promotes British Interests, it promotes the British language which in turn, in the long run, makes it much easier for the British Government to do business with the foreign entities who’s subjects have learned English due to the promotion by the British Council. 

 

You don’t like that those working for the British Council have received a vaccine, fair enough. Be jealous. 

 

I believe it is a good idea that the British Government has taken to ensuring its overseas interests are looked after. 

 

Clearly you don’t think so. But the British Government doesn’t care about you and I because we are not here in Thailand promoting British Interests. We don’t bring anything of value to the table as far as the British Government is concerned, so why should be be vaccinated along with 5.5 million other British citizens who no longer live on British soil ???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Excel said:

Good you can google , but it may impress others but not many.However despite your attempts to convince others none of the staff work for the British Government, so just get back to reality please because your googling skills are  further indicating your ignorance of the employment status of British Council staff. None are British goverment employees, all have received vaccinations at no cost to thenselves - is that really too difficult for you to understand ?

I understand you have this bee in your bonnet about the Embassy and its support staff getting the vaccine, I also understand that you seem angry at everyone and everything. Back onto my ignore list for you my lad, until you graduate from anger management class and learn to debate like a grown up.

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20 hours ago, Patong2021 said:

Chip on your shoulder?

 

The UK embassy is getting blasted for an issue bigger than its role and sorry to say, it is an issue of medical ethics and also international law. The UK cannot vaccinate people in a foreign country on its own even if it wanted to or had the means to do so.   The UK or any other government cannot say to a sovereign nation, hello, we will be sending over controlled substances and will administer only to our nationals.  

 

Please understand;

Legal: A foreign government cannot undertake an activity in a foreign country without permission of host.  Any import of vaccine must be approved by host. Administration must be in compliance with host country rules and regulations. There is  legal liability that comes with vaccine. In UK, there are laws and procedures that apply when something goes wrong or a person has a problem with vaccine. Those rules and regulations would not apply in Thailand. The UK cannot force Thailand to change its normal internal practices anymore than Botswana can make UK change its  internal practices. 

 

Ethical: It is not ethical to provide priority access to a group of people based only upon their status as foreign nationals. In the UK as elsewhere, there was a schedule of priority vaccination groups with essential workers, and vulnerable groups given priority. What many people complaining are saying is that they wish to a have  priority access over others more vulnerable or at risk in the communities in which they live.  I think you would be hard pressed to find any medical professional or medical-legal ethicist who could support such activity.

 

 Consider the impact upon a family where one member was UK and others were not. It could cause family strain to have discrimination of  access.

 

Logistics: An embassy is not a health clinic. In the UK as in other countries, there is an administrative infrastructure that accompanies vaccination of people. People are registered, so that the 2nd dose can be given, or adverse reaction tracked and also general health file can be updated. This cannot be done securely in Thailand under current circumstances. There is a vaccine delivery protocol to follow including supply chain, local storage, administration and health care support.  The process would require the UK government to identify a third party contractor capable of providing the service.   

There is a worldwide shortage of vaccine. UK cannot pick up the phone and tell manufacturer to drop a thousand doses at the tent in Lumpini park. With the exception of the UK produced Oxford vaccine, the other vaccines come with strict geographic controls. The Pfizer vaccine UK gets is designated as from Belgium and subject to EU rules. The UK cannot re-export without change in rules and contract. Trying to push the allowance could breach contract and result in a dispute that could delay  tens of millions of Pfizer vaccine doses being delivered to UK people. Some people assume  vaccine distribution is a simple process. it is not and is subject to multiple regulatory agency  involvement.

 

The guidelines for which vaccine to provide, Oxford v. mRNA changed this week, with younger UK residents to be offered alternative to  Oxford vaccine. It is unethical to only offer partial access and creates problem when it comes to trying to manage the necessary inventories of multiple vaccine type.

 

Local Safety:  Giving preferential treatment to a small group of people is an invitation to civil disturbance. The potential for angry outburst exists and once it starts, it is difficult to contain. Consider the result if a local group of self proclaimed nationalists makes an issue  of the preferential treatment.

 

Please stop blaming UK embassy (or any other foreign embassy) for lack of personal access to vaccines. Vaccine is available to you now if you return to home country. Up to you to return. Otherwise, you will be in line like Thailand population.  

 

Please remember too that all embassy staff have suffered with stress and strain from this with people sick and friends or family members who may have died from infection. They do not wish to see anyone suffer, so stop making it personal and blaming them for one of the costs of your decision to live in Thailand.  

 

 

 

Sounds like blame the victim, i.e. Brits who opted out of living in Britain. Returning to home country? Not much of a home with the attitude displayed in your post.

 

Administration would require discussion with the Thai government, if as someone else suggested, private hospitals would take care of this (BTW Where did Embassy staff get vaccinated, since you present the Embassy as not an appropriate place for vaccinations. State secret?). Perhaps people would be happy to sign a release, just as is done frequently in medical settings in Thailand.

 

It seems unethical to me to leave your citizens to their fate, as it were. 

 

Really this harping about "civil disturbance" is over the top. Please control your fantasies.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, placnx said:

Sounds like blame the victim, i.e. Brits who opted out of living in Britain. Returning to home country? Not much of a home with the attitude displayed in your post.

 

Administration would require discussion with the Thai government, if as someone else suggested, private hospitals would take care of this (BTW Where did Embassy staff get vaccinated, since you present the Embassy as not an appropriate place for vaccinations. State secret?). Perhaps people would be happy to sign a release, just as is done frequently in medical settings in Thailand.

 

It seems unethical to me to leave your citizens to their fate, as it were. 

 

Really this harping about "civil disturbance" is over the top. Please control your fantasies.

 

You have a bias in your position. You have ignored  every point I explained in detail all because you believe that you are entitled to a vaccination, even though there is no legal or moral obligation to provide it. If some embassy workers were vaccinated, it was done in accordance with their long standing essential services designation. Use common sense -  It is much easier to organize vaccination of 10 or 30 people than it is 10,000+. Again, I emphasize that an embassy or consulate or high commission is not a medical clinic. It does not have resources, including personnel and infrastructure to act as clinic any more than a church has capacity to act as laundry. I am unaware of  any country vaccinating its nationals in Thailand.

 

All foreign embassies have significantly reduced staff. I cannot speak for UK embassy, but it is no secret that most foreign governments who had vaccine access vaccinated their personnel in the home countries. Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Israel and USA were some of the publicly identified countries doing this. Employees are regularly rotated in and out of countries for assignment change, leave and training. My friend who works for a foreign government mission, waited her turn for vaccine just like her government ministers and PM did.  

 

Again, I ask how do you expect  an embassy to set up a vaccination program when it does not have infrastructure or staff to do so?  It is not just the signing of waiver.  A Covid19 vaccination center is a complex structure. Because you do not see the details and extensive planning and support needed to stage such a clinic, and because you do not understand distribution rules and regulations, you assume it is just a jab and off you go. 

 

You dismiss potential for civil disturbance.  Obviously you do not understand panic and mobs. For this, I suggest you look at experience of Ebola in Liberia and in Congo when foreign governments acted to evacuate nationals.  If you do not think that giving preferential treatment to some foreign nationals would not upset a segment of local population, then you do not understand human mentality and not learn from past events, and do not understand moral obligation. It is like having feast in middle of famine refugee camp.

 

And again. I ask you, if you are so concerned, you have had a year+ in which to return to the UK for a vaccine. The mandate of a foreign embassy is diplomatic, consular and trade service, not the delivery of health care. I also doubt very much that there is any sentiment of support from UK taxpayers to change this mandate. Please stop criticizing the embassy for something it has no responsibility for, let alone capability of undertaking. The embassy has helped UK nationals during the crisis and because they do not publicize does not mean that they do nothing. And it is not just UK embassy. Other foreign embassies have done so much and it breaks my heart to see so much scorn made for people who try so hard to help and who do care, including those who have lost family members but kept working. Please don't tell me of your inconvenience when foreign government workers like so many others, could not get more than a zoom call with a seriously ill parent because of circumstances. You have the option of getting on an airplane and flying to the UK for a vaccine. You have chosen not to do so. Take responsibility for your decision. 

Edited by Patong2021
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7 hours ago, treetops said:

 

No, that was the Thai request that income be verified before issuing the declaration letters.  The Embassies were in no way able to do that.

Uhm, no. Other countries (Canada for example) don't verify and didn't change anything.

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An inflammatory post and replies have been removed along with posts that have messed up quotes.

If you have a question, feel free to ask.  If you wish to troll or rant, go elsewhere.  

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Patong2021 said:

The mandate of a foreign embassy is diplomatic, consular and trade service, not the delivery of health care

 

This is correct and I agree most of your post.You don't deal explicitly however with one important area, namely the responsibility of an Embassy to look after the interests of its resident citizens.This is in fact one of its primary functions.

 

No reasonable person expects an Embassy to take responsibility for matters which should be managed by individuals.For a range of reasons, some of which you have mentioned, it is certainly not appropriate for the Embassy in a well developed country like Thailand to act as a vaccination centre.It is however very much the duty of the Embassy to keep itself up to date, lobby where appropriate and communicate with its citizens - many of whom are justifiably alarmed.There will be different opinions of how the Embassy has performed in this area.It is completely appropriate to note the efforts that have been made and at the same time suggest a somewhat greater sense of commitment and urgency was needed.I certainly don't question the professionalism, hard work and good intentions of embassy officials

 

 

Edited by jayboy
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, mikebike said:

Uhm, no. Other countries (Canada for example) don't verify and didn't change anything.

 

That's correct and applies to many other countries too, but doesn't change the reason for the UK, USA and AUS decisions which were following a request by the Thai authorities.

Edited by treetops
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23 hours ago, billd766 said:

I got bored with Brierley and put him on my ignore list.

Done the same now. Ill-informed arrogance has no place in my book.

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On 5/7/2021 at 8:49 PM, richard_smith237 said:

Those working for the FCO and British Chamber of commerce fall under British residential status, continue to pay Tax in the UK and remain under the umbrella of the the NHS. 

 

You’ll have to look harder for your criticism. 

I pay UK tax at a marginal rate of 40%, that doesn't wash at all. 

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1 hour ago, British Consular Team said:

We promised an update on this. Since this post our Ambassador has spoken to the Thai Prime Minister about this issue, and the Prime Minister has re-confirmed Thailand’s commitment to equal access to vaccines for all living in Thailand, including British Nationals. We are in constant discussions with the Ministry of Public Health in follow-up. 

 

 

Thank you for this although there have already been several general assurances to this effect.The devil as always is in the detail.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, British Consular Team said:

We promised an update on this. Since this post our Ambassador has spoken to the Thai Prime Minister about this issue, and the Prime Minister has re-confirmed Thailand’s commitment to equal access to vaccines for all living in Thailand, including British Nationals. We are in constant discussions with the Ministry of Public Health in follow-up. 

 

If, as is being reported in various forums, it requires a Thai ID number to register for a vaccination, then how is this equal access to vaccines for all living in Thailand ? If a Thai ID is not required in order to register, then why are non-Thai nationals unable to do so ? 

 

I should say that I have not personally tried to register, but I rely on reported attempts by others.

Edited by Tony M
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28 minutes ago, Tony M said:

If, as is being reported in various forums, it requires a Thai ID number to register for a vaccination, then how is this equal access to vaccines for all living in Thailand ? If a Thai ID is not required in order to register, then why are non-Thai nationals unable to do so ? 

 

I should say that I have not personally tried to register, but I rely on reported attempts by others.

 

That presumably is when using the recently released app which is apparently for Thais only.  A new app for foreigners has been promised for next month.

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