Bangkok Post

Get Astra approved


Re: “Astra mystery”, (PostBag, Oct 2).

Michael Palmer highlights the problem many of us still have in going to see loved ones in Europe. The UK has scheduled Thailand as a red zone and therefore requires government quarantine for returning citizens, who do not actually have to be vaccinated. Non citizens cannot enter. This is not because of the scale of our infections but because Thailand does too little genome testing to identify new variants and provides insufficie­nt data.

Since the UK was the second-largest source of tourists to the Phuket Sandbox scheme prior to entering the red list, one would have thought that this would be an easy win for a government looking to boost tourism. Confusingl­y, France accepts Thai-produced AstraZenec­a by concession, but the EU does not so we cannot go to Spain, Italy, etc.

Like much of the vaccine saga in Thailand, the applicatio­n for WHO emergency use approval was delayed until September, several months after vaccinatio­ns commenced. They hope to gain approval by the end of year. Getting Thai AstraZenec­a approved by the EU and WHO is essential for normal travel to resolve.


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