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COVID-19 vaccine tourism emerges in Thailand as demand grows


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FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker prepares a syringe with a dose of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine at the Bang Khun Thian Geriatric Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand April 21, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

 

By Pichayada Promchertchoo

 

BANGKOK: Thais who do not want to wait for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution from their government have opted for a new option to get it overseas. 

 

The growing demand for vaccination amid a new wave of outbreaks in the country has given rise to tour packages which let customers join the vaccination queue abroad and choose from a greater variety of vaccines to build their immunity against the coronavirus.

 

“People who opt for this don’t want to wait in Thailand any longer. If they have a choice and can afford the vaccination, they choose to pay instead of waiting because they don’t know for how long they’d have to do that,” said Mr Rachphol Yamsaeng, managing director of Unithai Trip.

 

Full story: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thailand-covid-19-vaccine-tourism-emerges-united-states-serbia-14802866

 

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All I an say is that flying out with Emirates 5 weeks ago, the flight was 95% full.

Mostly Thai Hi-SO families.

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Today I walked up to the registration desk for a vaccine at my local general hospital (Astra Zeneca) five minutes, all fixed up, registration easy

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5 hours ago, CALSinCM said:

Think about it. Book a ticket to LAX, get a free mRNA vaccination at an onsite clinic with onsite Thai speaking staff who present you with the vaccine documentation written in Thai without any concern regarding your race, nationality, ethnicity, or immigration status; go visit the kids, cousins, aunts and uncles in North Hollywood and have a great vacation; return to get your second free shot with no questions asked, and return to the Thailand fully immunized while 95% of your fellow citizens still languish in the registration phase and patiently wait for the government to get their collective acts together.  The only downsize is the government and media calling you names.  Of course, you can always consider filing defamation charges.

So it is easy to get a visa to USA.

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4 hours ago, Caldera said:

An unsurprising vote of no confidence by those Thais who can afford to go elsewhere. 

Shame the people cannot have a vote of no confidence on their illustrious leader !

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They need a visa - need to already have one in hand as they're not getting a first one now.

 

One tour operator was quoted yesterday as saying 80% of inquiriues were from people WITHOUT visas.

 

They need to source the J&J vaccine, maybe not so difficult, or wait  3 - 4 weeks for a second dose.

 

Then wait another two weeks to avoid potential quarantine on return (if that ever becomes a reality), or plan two weeks quarantine on return.

 

Agree that for more well-heeled Thais higher up the pyramid, jetting off the the U.S. for a vaccine is a real possibility. But so is waiting it out here in luxury.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, smedly said:

hardly a surprise

 

I don't think waiting is the issue either, lack of options might be closer to the truth

But don't they have to go into 14 days quarantine on their return, presumably 2 times?

(Or stay out for the 8-12 weeks between shots)

Edited by jacko45k
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20 hours ago, Brunolem said:

Paying for the vaccine is not the issue here.

 

It is nothing compared with the spending involved by staying at least 3 weeks (interval between 2 shots) abroad, plus 2 weeks in quarantine when coming back home.


I agree. Its what stopping me going at the moment, the quarantine coming back.

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got an email from a Thai friend.  Paraphrasing, they wrote in English...... SORRY,  it might be the vaccine from China but will try to change.....

 

well, that's interesting.   I'm sure he has heard stuff, knows something, and is better informed about that stuff than I am.

 

not a testimonial  

 

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1 minute ago, jacko45k said:

But don't they have to go into 14 days quarantine on their return, presumably 2 times?

Why 2 times?  No quarantine in the US.  And if the Phuket sandbox becomes a reality, just a week there and then home.  They'd have to stay in the US at least 2 weeks to get the Moderna jab.  5 weeks to be fully protected.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, peleid said:

Today I walked up to the registration desk for a vaccine at my local general hospital (Astra Zeneca) five minutes, all fixed up, registration easy

Can I ask which hospital/city? 

My wife has just informed me she has been give an appointment to get her jab of the s*** Sinovac. I'm trying to figure out which hospitals administer which vaccination and if people have a choice. 

It appears more and more to be Sinovac (surprise surprise). 

Edited by djayz
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1 minute ago, Jeffr2 said:

Why 2 times?  No quarantine in the US.  And if the Phuket sandbox becomes a reality, just a week there and then home.  They'd have to stay in the US at least 2 weeks to get the Moderna jab.  5 weeks to be fully protected.

I mean quarantine at least in Thailand..... and the Phuket sandbox has yet to materialize and not everyone wants to come and stay there. I was unaware Moderna had a lesser best delay between primary and second jabs... 

USA is such a long trip too.... I keep hoping Singapore will be offering a vaccination package.

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19 hours ago, xtof2 said:

All I an say is that flying out with Emirates 5 weeks ago, the flight was 95% full.

Mostly Thai Hi-SO families.

So all that mask wearing, sanitising hands and distancing etc befor and at the airport just to be crammed on a plane...

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, djayz said:

Can I ask which hospital/city? 

My wife has just informed me she has been give an appointment to get her jab of the s*** Sinovac. I'm trying to figure out which hospitals administer which vaccination and if people have a choice. 

It appears more and more to be Sinovac (surprise surprise). 

The hospital is Loei General, which is in the actual city of loei. If you go to their web page they actual advertise the fact, that it is Astra Zeneca vaccination they will give. Not sure you have to reside in the province, they asked me where I lived, I also showed them my yellow book

Edited by peleid
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12 minutes ago, jacko45k said:

I mean quarantine at least in Thailand..... and the Phuket sandbox has yet to materialize and not everyone wants to come and stay there. I was unaware Moderna had a lesser best delay between primary and second jabs... 

USA is such a long trip too.... I keep hoping Singapore will be offering a vaccination package.

oops...I was wrong.  Moderna is 4 weeks.  So you're considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your 2nd jab.  That'd be a long time with Moderna, and only 2 weeks after J&J, which is a single jab.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7011e2.htm

Quote

The recommended interval between doses is 21 days for Pfizer-BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna; however, up to 42 days between doses is permissible when a delay is unavoidable.

 

https://abc7news.com/vaccine-second-dose-pfizer-covid-moderna/10550004/

 

Singapore is going into another lock down.  That Indian variant seems to be taking hold, and several who've been fully vaccinated are getting sick.  With one dying, a nurse.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/14/world/asia/singapore-covid-restrictions.html

 

Quote

Singapore announces new restrictions after vaccinated airport workers become infected.

 

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Just now, Jeffr2 said:

oops...I was wrong.  Moderna is 4 weeks.  So you're considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your 2nd jab.  That'd be a long time with Moderna, and only 2 weeks after J&J, which is a single jab.

 

 

In reality, factoring in the paperwork and scheduling, end to end you should probably budget closer to eight weeks.

 

Could it be done in less time? Sure.

 

 

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1 minute ago, mtls2005 said:

 

 

In reality, factoring in the paperwork and scheduling, end to end you should probably budget closer to eight weeks.

 

Could it be done in less time? Sure.

 

 

We've been seriously considering going back to the US for jabs.  But rental car prices are insane!  Double or triple what they normally are.  And hotel prices have gone up dramatically.  AirBnBs are filling up.  Not the best time to travel to the US unless you have a free place to stay and a car you can borrow!!!

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2 minutes ago, Jeffr2 said:

But rental car prices are insane! 

 

There is a rental car shortage, that's well documented, chip/manufacturing. Some desireable Summer destinations have rental car inventory fully booked through September.

 

Hotel shortage too: staffing.

 

AirBnB are desireable as they are viewed as cleaner and safer, fewer people to interract with.

 

Gas shortage(s) too: pipeline hack.

 

Perfect Storm?

 

I don't want to impose on family or friends for 6 - 8 weeks...also worried about getting locked-out of returning to Thailand.

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3 minutes ago, Jeffr2 said:

We've been seriously considering going back to the US for jabs.  But rental car prices are insane!  Double or triple what they normally are.  And hotel prices have gone up dramatically.  AirBnBs are filling up.  Not the best time to travel to the US unless you have a free place to stay and a car you can borrow!!!

Yes, I saw that.  Rental car companies dumped a lot of cars.  I should buy a used rental car right now.  I have a place for Thais to stay right now, but my cars are 20 years old.  But I looked ahead about 20 years ago and imported Thai relatives into the U.S.  Thai Bro-in-law fixes my cars and mows my lawn.  Life is good. 

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20 hours ago, CALSinCM said:

Think about it. Book a ticket to LAX, get a free mRNA vaccination at an onsite clinic with onsite Thai speaking staff who present you with the vaccine documentation written in Thai without any concern regarding your race, nationality, ethnicity, or immigration status; go visit the kids, cousins, aunts and uncles in North Hollywood and have a great vacation; return to get your second free shot with no questions asked, and return to the Thailand fully immunized while 95% of your fellow citizens still languish in the registration phase and patiently wait for the government to get their collective acts together.  The only downsize is the government and media calling you names.  Of course, you can always consider filing defamation charges.

Or even saying they wont recognise the foreign immunisation.

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23 minutes ago, Jeffr2 said:

We've been seriously considering going back to the US for jabs.  But rental car prices are insane!  Double or triple what they normally are.  And hotel prices have gone up dramatically.  AirBnBs are filling up.  Not the best time to travel to the US unless you have a free place to stay and a car you can borrow!!!

MANY PEOPLE ARE RENTINGTRUCKS, if that helps.

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