Provincial Governor in Thailand Makes Covid-19 Vaccine Mandatory

June 1, 2021

Authorities in Buri Ram Province in Thailand have issued an order requiring everyone to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or risk being jailed for up to two years or fined.

The order came from Buri Ram governor, Thatchakorn Hatathathayakul, who chaired a provincial communicable disease committee meeting on Friday.

To prevent further virus transmission and help Buri Ram’s public health officials manage the vaccination drive, people aged 18 and over who live or work in the province must assess their risk of Covid-19 infection with village health volunteers, or via an online system or through a vaccination coordinating centre before the end of this month.

Prison or Fine

Disease control and public health officials will have the authority to force at-risk people to be vaccinated, as well as set dates, schedules and places to administer Covid-19 vaccines to them.

The authority stems from the 2015 Communicable Disease Act, violations of which carry a maximum one month in prison and/or fines that could be as high as 20,000 baht, depending on which part of the act is applied.

Those who refuse to be vaccinated may also be liable to a maximum two years in prison and/or a fine up to 40,000 baht for breaching the emergency decree.

The main vaccine the government of Thailand is distributing right now is Coronavac, made by Sinovac Biotech in China, as the first batch of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine will not be available until early June.

Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

CoronaVac, also known as the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, is an inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.

China’s top disease control official has said the efficacy of the country’s Covid vaccines is low, in a rare admission of weakness. In a press conference, Dr Gao Fu added that China was considering mixing vaccines as a way of boosting efficacy.

China has developed four different vaccines approved for public use, though some trials abroad had suggested efficacy as low as 50%.  DR Gao later said his comments had been misinterpreted. More than 100 million people in China have received at least one shot of the vaccine.

Source: Bangkok Post

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