Thai Bits: Another COVID-19 Visa Extension, Expats in Thailand Must Register Soon For COVID-19 Vaccinations

Another COVID-19 Visa Extension

As of July 29, 2021, the deadline for applying for a 60-day “Covid” visa extension has been extended until late September. The extensions are intended for foreigners unable to leave Thailand and return home due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. The Thai Immigration Bureau has extended the application deadline several times, usually at the last minute. Previously, the deadline was May 29, 2021.
Due to the global situation of Covid-19 and limited international flights, the 60-day visa extension program was introduced late last year to allow foreigners to stay in Thailand.
It is possible to grant the extension if:
Foreigners cannot return to their home countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Return flights are not available.
There is a letter from the foreigner’s embassy requesting a temporary stay.

Expats In Thailand Should Register ASAP For Vaccinations

All foreign nationals living in Thailand should register for vaccination ahead of next month’s national rollout. It was confirmed by Natapanu Nopakun from the Foreign Ministry, who you may remember from the daily English-language briefings from the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)
“Thais and foreign nationals alike are encouraged to register for vaccination through designated channels if they wish to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.”
Bangkok Post reports that various agencies have been tasked with managing the registration of foreigners in Thailand. Natapanu advises foreigners to contact the relevant agency to get inoculated.
“The Foreign Ministry coordinates vaccinations for diplomats, members of international organizations, and foreign media. The Ministries of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation are responsible for foreign students. Social Security Offices provide benefits to migrant workers from neighboring countries. It is advised that all foreign nationals, including spouses of Thai citizens, retirees, investors, and all other foreign nationals, contact the hospital with their health records or register on-site at designated vaccination sites. Organizations and businesses can work with the Ministry of Public Health to arrange vaccination schedules for their employees, regardless of their nationality.
Natapanu says additional doses are being sought from other manufacturers in addition to Sinovac and AstraZeneca. The first batch of locally manufactured AstraZeneca doses will be available next month, and the government is aiming to inoculate 70% of the population by the end of the year.
According to Natapanu, the private sector is allowed to import its own vaccine supplies, but it must do so through the Government Pharmaceutical Organization.
Covid-19 vaccines are not sold directly to private companies since they are only approved for emergency use. This option allows people to choose their preferred vaccine, even if it differs from those provided by the government. WHO or Thailand’s FDA cannot approve these vaccines, nor can Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health.
The Chulabhorn Research Academy confirmed in a surprise move last week that it would import supplies of another Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, in order to boost the government’s rollout. The vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on May 28, 2021.
In addition to Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna, Sinopharm is the fifth vaccine approved for emergency use. To date, however, it has not been confirmed when supplies of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines or the Moderna vaccines will be available.

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