Thailand rejects vaccine passport

It seems that a future where wanderlusts can set foot in Thailand without undergoing a 14-day quarantine is still far away, as many health officials have rejected the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s  ‘vaccine passportinitiative

The Department of Disease Control Director General, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, explained that the decision was made due to lack of sufficient evidence that any Covid-19 vaccine is effective in preventing Covid-19 transmission.

No one knows if the vaccines are 100% effective

According to the Bangkok Post, Dr. Karnkawinpon said that although Covid-19 vaccinations have been initiated on a global scale, there isn’t enough information to guarantee that vaccinated travellers will not spread Covid-19 to others. Hence, Thailand rejected the WHO vaccine passport policy.

Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong
Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control
Image credit: Bangkok Post

Dr. Karnkawinpong also insisted that the best course of action right now is to follow the Covid-19 travel protocol for international tourists, where visitors need to produce negative Covid-19 tests and undergo a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

It would take at least 7 years to vaccinated 75% of the world population

According to Bloomberg’s recent calculations, it would take at least 7 years for all the countries to immunise at least 75% of their respective populations with today’s inoculation rate. Bloomberg also pointed out that these numbers are volatile, as they can be distorted by temporary disruptions like the heavy blizzard that forced New York City to delay their vaccinations.  

However, one metric that Bloomberg doesn’t account for in their calculations is any immunity that might result from mass vaccination, as there are still conflicting definitions in the scientific community as to when herd immunity is “achieved”. The most popular definition of “success” is when the vaccination starts to have a measurable effect on the speed of transmission.

Bloomberg Covid-19 vaccines timeline
Bloomberg’s vaccinations timeline prediction map – note that Thailand is still white because there is no proper vaccination yet.
Image credit: Bloomberg

Bloomberg also remarked that with the current rate of Covid-19 cases and vaccination, it would be at least 2023 before international travel returns to “normal” – very tragic news for wanderlusts and international travellers.

A mutual effort

While Thailand’s first Covid-19 vaccination is due to start this upcoming Valentine’s Day, we all should continue to put in efforts to prevent further spreading of Covid-19. The more we stay on guard, the better we all can contain the virus and the faster we can go back to normal. So, let’s put on our face masks, practice social distancing and we could be back on an aeroplane in no time.

Read more about Covid-19 related articles here:

Featured image adapted from: PYMNTS, WHO

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