Reader Talkback results: If Thailand requires a vaccine to visit the country or renew your visa, would you take it?

It is time for our weekly feature results in which every week at the start of the week we ask a question for our local readers wanting YOUR feedback and thoughts. We share these results here at the end of the week from comments, mails and messages.

This weeks question is “Would you take a vaccine for Covid-19 if it was mandatory to either have to travel to Thailand or to renew your visa and stay?”

Reader Talkback Question of the week: Would you take a Covid19 vaccine if it was mandatory to travel/stay in Thailand?


Here are some of the best and most diverse answers we had sent to us, both in comments below, email and on our social media channels. This was, by far, the largest response we have had yet to a reader talkback with hundreds of comments and mails. The majority seemed to state they would take a vaccine, although there were diverse and passionate opinions. The opinions and statements below are readers own and may or may not reflect those of The Pattaya News. We have made little to no edits, spelling errors, etc. are those of the writers.

 Dominique-All vaccines are dangerous for a small proportion of people. but sometimes useful when there is a question of death. It is far from being the case ! Make it compulsory for every body is crazy in regards of the benefits/risk balance .This one has been developed in a very short time. Of course no epidemiologist studies. It would be a world wide scandal if some countries decided that ! I am fully again such a perspective !

John- have lived here 14 years l regard this as my home if l have to have the vaccine then l must l miss my family in the UK but the situation is dire there what can one do to be safe and alive
Take care every one

Ken-Hope the Government, waits until results and complications are reported and analyzed before making any decision on making the COVID vaccinations compulsory.
I understand that many folks that were in the trials for the Pifzer vaccination developed similar symptoms as COVID and they lasted 4-days. Until a larger database shows it is safe, no decisions should be made!
If they do decide to make it compulsory they had better make it for all not just foreigners. If it is nationwide, including Thai citizens, those on retirement visa’s or married visa’s will be forced to take it or leave their families behind. Hell of a choice that I am sure will be challenged in courts.
If legal challenges fail, I guess I will take it.

Cliff-at this point, I really hope to never have to make the choice. I just don’t trust vaccinations much on the whole though I have survived the many put into my body in younger days. And from what I understand these Covid vaccinations are essentially a new technology not used before. Very scary to me with regard to future impacts to one’s health. Yes, I worry about near term impacts from a vaccination but more about future impacts since testing cannot address what happens years down the road. I fear mandatory vaccination for all is likely coming though I pray not. If only mandatory for me to renew my retirement visa then I guess I’ll have to say yes with great, great fear in my heart. I don’t see me dragging my Thai significant other back to my home country for a list of reasons. My home country might require it for my return anyway and for her to have it to enter. She doesn’t want the vaccination either. Again, I just pray it remains voluntary across the board.

Serguei-Editor, you sound a bit like an organ of the American propaganda, as a sort of travelling salesman of the Pfizer conglomerate and does not serve the interests of the Thai people and Pattaya residents in particular. You should have informed the Thai people that there are two completely finished Russian vaccines and the government of Russia HAS ALREADY STARTED VACCINATING the Russian people by the millions. What is the development stage of the Pfizer’s vaccine, ‘advertised’ by your article? Have not finished yet? Oh, yes, they will be finishing it ‘pretty soon’ as usual and then…

Stephen-Yes if it was mandatory to enter (already here) or renew a visa (due Feb 2021). You’d be an idiot not to. Firstly, failing to meet the entry requirements will get you excluded or your visa will not be renewed. Secondly, it would be a good idea if tourism is opened up and there is an increased risk of getting infected. Thirdly, having a vaccination may allow you to travel internationally – I have things to do in Spain, but if I left Thailand, I cant get back, so it would be useful if I could return.

Kanwardeep-I would certainly take the vaccine even if I am not travelling. I would support the idea of making it mandatory for everyone entering any country not just Thailand. I guess this is the need of the hour & this step would also bring the confidence back in terms of inter personal/people to people contact. I would consider this as a great step towards making the world a safe place to travel again.

Rexy-It depends on alot of variables, some people who live in Pattaya/Thailand have been there so long they wouldn’t be able to face going back to their home countries as the change in their twilight years may be to much of a dilemma for them.
I certainly think that in the future there will be no choice of taking a vaccine as it will be compulsory if you wish to travel or have any conveniences to stay in other countries .
I also think that it is used to track and control where people can go
So for many it won’t be much of a choice but it will just eventually be accepted and people will be herded up just like sheep.
Man likes the easiest option.
If the choice was voluntary to have a vaccine shot or not without any conditions
My answer would be no.

Bill-Yes, I would be very interested , and yes, I would welcome the vaccine, providing we could enter Thailand without having to do quarantine. Id be happy to wear a monitoring bracelet as well.

Marc-I won’t be the first in line but I’ll do it if necessary to live here. Right now the risk of Covid in Thailand is small but when the country opens up the risk will increase accordingly so that will weigh on my decision as well.

George-Yes we hope to have it here in March and I will be first in line . Then hopefully Thailand will allow us to holiday again

Luciano-Good morning,
I state that I am against obligations of any kind, it must be a choice not a forced one, I prefer an adequate and periodic health check. (I’d only get the vaccine once to enter the country)


There is a lot of debate about vaccines and I totally understand people’s fears that this is a “rushed” vaccine. But the world needs to find a way of getting back to normality and quickly. There are far more serious consequences to being continually locked down. Ruined businesses, Depression, and an increase in the suicide rate. 
On the other hand you have a country like Thailand with a large number of people employed in the tourism industry who are operating an eradication policy and who are adopting a “lock out” policy .. and we can clearly see the effects of this on places like Phuket, and Pattaya. Domestic tourism isn’t going to fix the problem unfortunately even if it helps at Thai holiday times. Thailand has done well in its eradication policy, but not so well economically. 
The main argument from anti vaxxers that I’ve read is “why have a vaccine for a virus with a 99.7 % survival rate”  ( or higher figure) well I’m sorry but that’s still an awful lot of unnecessary deaths in the world and secondly it is not simply about death, many people have lasting, long term symptoms of Covid-19 and I have recently seen a documented case of a lung transplant. Some people are left with chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, organ damage and other long lasting symptoms. An elderly but previously fit friend of mine has had his life absolutely ruined by it. 
The bottom line is we need this quickly. 
I have absolutely no qualms about being vaccinated against this illness. All vaccines have some side effects. This is completely normal and to be expected. This is because your body’s immune system is being activated to produce the necessary antibodies and T cells to fight the infection if challenged. 
If Thailand operates a policy of entry with a vaccine certificate then good for them, I’ll be first in the queue.
Hopefully by fall next year, the world will be on the road to recovery. 
I hope there’s a Pattaya still left for me to come back to. 
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