Pattaya’s famous nightlife now closed for three months with no end in sight, Covid-19 vaccination program still moving very slowly concerning business owners and residents

Pattaya –

The elderly, people with vulnerable medical conditions, and market workers in Pattaya were vaccinated against Covid-19 last week after 1,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was delivered…but as the program still moves on at a leisurely pace, to say the least, residents and business owners concern is growing.

On Thursday, July 8th last week the elderly, people with vulnerable medical conditions, and people in high-risk clusters from local markets were vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine was a total of 1,621 doses at the Pattaya City Hospital. The majority of those vaccinated had previously registered to be part of the vaccine program in Pattaya, although the market workers were expedited due to being part of a high-risk sector.

The Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume personally inspected the vaccination program at Pattaya City Hospital.

The Mayor told The Pattaya News “Of those 1,621 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 1,007 doses were for people who had been previously registered via the ‘Mor Prom” application while 614 doses were given to vendors and staff at local markets that have been identified as extremely high-risk locations for Covid-19.”

“The vaccination campaign is currently centered around controlling the spread of the  Covid-19 virus at roughly 20 markets in Pattaya. Today, we had people from four markets which were the Nong Ket Yai Raiway Market, New Market Naklua, Amorn Market, and the Lan Poe Market.” The Mayor explained.

“On July 13th we will receive more vaccines for people working in about 16 markets in Pattaya.” The Mayor added, without stating the exact number of vaccines expected.

Pattaya’s vaccination program, essential for reopening the city to tourists, has been moving sluggishly due to several factors, nearly all out of the control of local and regional leaders. The primary reason is due to most vaccine supply (which is mostly centralized by the Thai Government and relevant agencies) in Thailand being allocated to Bangkok at this time due to the worsening outbreak in the capital. In July an estimated 80 percent of vaccines that arrive in the country will be rerouted to the capital.

Pattaya has privately purchased 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from the Chulabhorn Royal Academy, however, not all of them have arrived and it will not be enough to get the area to 70% of the local population, which the city would need to reopen to foreign tourists by Quarter 4. It would, however, be a major start to the program. Some parts of the area though, like Koh Larn, have the vast majority of the population vaccinated already.

The Mayor has continually stated that the vaccine supply to Pattaya will meet the demand in the near future and in time to get the majority of the city and surrounding area vaccinated by Quarter 4.  You can read about this plan by clicking here.

To do so, however, the supply will need to accelerate at nearly warp speed and 1,621 doses will not be enough to appease business owners whose venues have been closed for three months now and with no sign of significant financial aid or opening in sight. This isn’t even taking into account that Chonburi has not opened locally foreigner registration as some other provinces did previously due to lack of supply. (Except for a few exceptions like foreigners with work permits at certain companies.) Foreigners over 60 and with certain health conditions, however, can register through ThailandIntervac, however, results may vary based on supply and times for registration and it will require a trip to Bangkok.

As for private purchases, such as Moderna, due to “technical issues” with the survey, according to officials, people interested in purchasing this, let alone registering, may have a wait ahead of themselves also. You can read more about this here.

For now, Pattaya, the city that was once the city that never sleeps in Thailand, which saw almost 10 million visitors in 2019, was the 19th most visited city in the world, and a major driver to the tourism and economy of Thailand…. can’t seem to wake up, as these photos show. The city is also seeing a significant rise in homeless and charity food lines with have made major media attention due to those unemployed and restrictions on closed businesses.

The Mayor has previously commented on the charity food lines and stated the city is doing everything it can to resolve the current crisis. To his credit, the city was asking to privately purchase vaccines as early as January of this year and has presented multiple plans to safely reopen the city and closed sectors of business, but due to central government policies was declined for both until only recently. Now, the city struggles to obtain more and allow people to get back to work, and tourists to visit.

For now, all people can do is wait…but for how much longer? TPN notes the closure of entertainment venues, in particular, is a national restriction.

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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for five years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.