Vaccinations in Thailand and vaccine holidays
Currently, foreigners have limited options for Covid-19 vaccinations in Thailand. Despite the government’s promise to inoculate our foreign residents, it’s expected to be at least five months before that happens.
The good news is a number of Thai tour operators are now offering “vaccine holidays” for both Thai and foreign nationals to get vaccinated during their getaways overseas.
Here’s all the information out there about Covid-19 vaccinations for foreign residents in the Kingdom, as well as a list of vaccine tour packages that you might be interested in.
Recent vaccine updates:
- Thailand begins making AstraZeneca vaccines
- 1 million Sinovac doses arrive in Thailand
- Sinovac & AstraZeneca may not work on Brazil variants
Getting your Covid-19 vaccine in Thailand as a foreigner
Foreigners currently residing in Thailand may be able to register via the Mor Prom app or Line account, as well as directly contact hospitals for Covid-19 vaccines as early as June 2021, according to Bangkok Post.
What the Mor Prom app looks like.
Image credit: Thai PBS World
Inoculations are set to begin with the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and those living in high-risk areas. The rest are scheduled to sign up for vaccination from July onwards.
You may be happy to hear that the government’s policy of “equal treatment” will grant foreigners free access to the FDA-approved vaccines, however, with a possibility of a doctor’s fee.
Moderna Covid-19 shots – FDA-approved on 13th May 2021 – will also be available for booking in private hospitals for less than ฿3,000 (~USD95) – service fee, insurance, and taxes included – later on in the year.
Current Covid-19 vaccination options
Pink Thai ID card for foreigners
Image is used for illustration purposes only
Image credit: Frank Legal & Tax
Foreigners under one of the above mentioned priority groups that hold a pink Thai ID card can also try registering via the Mor Prom app, in which the success rate of registration is at 50/50.
The last option would be flying back to your home country to get vaccinated. Yet, it involves making your own medical appointments and going through several processes, such as taking PCR tests, obtaining Certificate of Entry (COE) and staying in an Alternate State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel for 14 days upon return, which alone costs at least ฿30,000 (~USD957).
As changes can still be made, please stay tuned for further updates.
Getting vaccinated overseas
“Vaccine holidays” or vaccine tourism is basically the third triplet to medical and cosmetic surgery tourism. Instead of travelling abroad for medical operations, the purpose is to get vaccinated against Covid-19 while having a vacation.
Image is used for illustration purposes only
Image credit: Outlook Traveller
It is legal and becoming widespread, as countries like the Maldives strive to make a post-pandemic recovery by opening its doors to vaccination tourists.
With Thailand trudging along its vaccine rollout due to the limited supply of Covid-19 vaccines, Thai tour operators saw a business opportunity to offer “vaccine tours” targeting those who are willing to pay a hefty price tag in exchange for a fast track to immunity.
While a self-planned trip is possible, joining a group tour might be a better idea since everything is prepped and done for you, with not much of a price gap between the two options.
Bear in mind that these vaccine trips can take over a month, and there is no guarantee that you’ll come back with a certificate of vaccination. Also, many tour operators will likely ask you to sign a waiver indicating that they will not be responsible in the case of vaccine allergies.
So, those who are interested will have to take it at their own risk.
Vaccine tour packages from Thailand
Unithai Trip offers the highest number of packages, with prices from ฿68,000 (~USD2,180) to ฿245,900 ~USD7,874) for trips to destinations like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Serbia.
Their trips are only available to those holding a US visa, UK visa or a Schengen multiple-entry visa. Thais with an expired visa – not exceeding 48 months – can, however, apply for renewal or for a Serbia visa through Unithai Trip.
Vaccine tour packages offered by Unithai Trip
Screenshot: Unithai Trip
Examples of vaccine tour packages include:
- 10-day trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco at ฿73,000 (~USD2,338) per person
- 9-day trip to New York at ฿95,000 (~USD3,042) per person
- 29-day trip to Serbia at ฿200,000 (~USD6,404) per person
The US packages offer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) – a one-shot Covid-19 vaccine – whereas the Serbia package offers multi-dose options like Pfizer, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Moderna.
Those who are interested in the US packages, but prefer a Pfizer vaccine, can request for a change. However, they will have their travel duration extended to at least a month and have to fork over more money for their longer stay.
Included within the prices are accommodations, transportations, sightseeing, PCR tests, Covid-19 vaccine registration, and other travel services including obtaining a Certificate Of Entry (COE) into Thailand with an option of monthly installments.
Costs beyond the package prices include airfare, meals, service tips, travel insurance, Worldwide Health Insurance, ASQ, VAT, and other government taxes.
Once the deposit has been made, Unithai Trip will make the Covid-19 vaccination appointments for you. If bookings cannot be made, the deposit will be given back in full.
It is also important to note that once your vaccine appointments are confirmed, no refunds can be made.
My Journey Travel
My Journey Travel has two programme options: independent group tour and guided group tour – both offering a 10-day trip to San Francisco for a J&J shot.
The independent group tour programme – limited to two – nine travellers – provides a driver who is adept in the programme’s general information, or an experienced US local guide, to bring you around with the freedom to choose your own travel dates. Price ranges include:
- ฿172,000 (~USD5,508) per person for 2-3 travellers
- ฿111,000 (~USD3,556) per person for 4-5 travellers
- ฿90,000 (~USD2,884) per person for 6-7 travellers
- ฿80,000 (~USD2,563) per person for 8-9 travellers
As for the guided group tour programme, a Thai tour guide will accompany and assist you throughout the entire trip. The price for this option starts at ฿115,000 (~USD3,683) per person. The total number of travellers per group will be eight and travel dates are available from May to August.
The agency has you covered from visa application – for both Thais and foreigners – to the arrangements of flights, accommodations, meals, travel insurance, Covid-19 vaccine registration, PCR tests, COE, and ASQ at the Royal Suite Hotel.
ASQ room types and prices at Royal Suite Hotel
Image credit: Royal Suite Hotel
Udachi is the only tour operator in Thailand that offers a 23-day vaccination tour to Moscow in order to receive the Sputnik V vaccine; trip prices from ฿119,000 (~USD3,793) and go up to ฿210,000 (~USD6,700).
Image credit: เที่ยวรัสเซีย By Udachi
The private tour package is available from May to December, with a limit of one to 10 travellers per group accompanied by an English-speaking Russian tour guide.
While a visa application service is included in the package for Thais, foreigners who wish to join the trip will have to hold a valid Russian tourist visa. Other services such as Covid-19 vaccine registration and the arrangements of COE and ASQ, however, will be taken care of.
Aside from the PCR tests, travellers will have to take other medical tests such as a Covid-19 antigen rapid test. Perks include a 24/7 online personal assistant and a free flow of face masks and alcohol hand gels.
You can book for a VACCation via the Udachi website in the following steps:
- Fill in information on the website and upload passport documents.
- Wait for an invoice to arrive within two days.
- Make a deposit payment within three days and send a transfer receipt to the company.
- Make full payment 30 days prior to the departure date.
Once the deposit is made, travel dates cannot be changed. Yet, it’s possible to receive a full refund on package price in case of cancellation 40-60 days before your travel.
Note: the package prices exclude lunches and dinners, visa application, Fit to Fly Health Certificate, PCR tests, travel insurance, ASQ, taxes, and other additional services.
See You Again
Last but not least, See You Again offers a 30-day vaccine tour package to Serbia for private groups and individual travellers with options of Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or Sinopharm. Current trip dates include departures on 12th June and 12th July 2021.
Travellers will get to visit Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade.
Image is used for illustration purposes only
Image credit: Pixabay
The package price starts from ฿120,000 (~USD3,844), which includes accommodations, meals, sightseeing, and travel accident insurance. The total cost is estimated at ฿200,000 (US$6,408) per person, which includes airfare, visa application, PCR tests, ASQ, Worldwide Health Insurance, and other additional services.
- Contact via Line ID or phone number +66-8-1-5662214.
- Send your passport and visa – if you have one – documents to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying your desired brand of vaccine as well as a consent message giving the company the permission to register for your Covid-19 vaccination.
- Sign a consent form for Covid-19 vaccination registration.
- Sign a travel waiver form.
For more information, visit See You Again’s website.
Note: Visa application service is available to both Thais and foreigners.
Consider the risks before taking the jump
As mentioned, flying to another country does not guarantee that you will get vaccinated. A “vacation” might turn out to be the only thing you’ll get.
If you’re up for that, make sure you’re able to take a big chunk of time off your work and ready for any surprise costs that could come your way.
Would you go on a vaccine holiday? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Covid-19 related news:
- Phuket residents arrested for hosting party
- Thailand has no plans for national lockdown & curfews
- How-to for Covid-19 vaccines & vaccine passports in Thailand