Confusion Reigns As Thailand Announces New Vaccine Requirement For Visitors

China is days from re-opening, and tourists are expected to depart the country in droves after three years of lockdowns. Numerous countries are instituting or considering Covid testing requirements for Chinese visitors, expecting a large number of passengers to be carrying the virus (though these same countries already have the virus present in even larger numbers). Morocco banned visitors from China outright.

Thailand’s Public Health Minister says that the country will institute a vaccine requirement for all visitors. The country had previously said that Chinese visitors wouldn’t be treated differently so a requirement for two vaccine doses will apply to everyone.

In addition, anyone traveling to Thailand that requires a Covid-19 test to return will be required to carry insurance in case they test positive and cannot leave.

These measures are entirely performative. Yet it is not clear:

  • What rules will actually be instituted
  • When they will actually go into effect

[2] Although it’s true the health minister talked about a plan for vaccination certificates, he didn’t say when this would be brought it.

Bloomberg picked up the phone and got this quote from the TAT: “Visitors won’t be required to produce proof of vaccination at this time”. pic.twitter.com/qhmwS2CB2r

— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) January 5, 2023

People arriving from China represent a very small number of total infections in the country
It’s not as though anyone is updating vaccines against a new Chinese variant, expediting their approval, and mobilizing their distribution

Vaccines are no longer preventing infection or spread to the same degree as when they were introduced, prior to current variants. mRNA vaccines at least do reduce the likelihood of severe infection from variants. That’s not a reason to require them, since it’s a personal benefit rather than protecting others in the country.

Why are variants unlikely to FULLY evade vaccine-induced immunity? •Vaccines are POLYCLONAL •CD8+ T-cells covering 52 epitopes across the spike protein •CD4+ T-cells covering 23 epitopes across the spike protein •https://t.co/lQJ1VBUg4g

— Chise 🧬🧫🦠🔬💉🥼🥽 (@sailorrooscout) January 1, 2023

If you want REAL-WORLD data on XBB look no further than Singapore. Cases were high due to the subvariant XBB, HOWEVER, 99.6% of Singapore’s VACCINATED (that’s a key word) cases are MILD or have NO symptoms. In addition, the nation has had VERY FEW deaths despite a surge in cases. pic.twitter.com/yaFmdzDMQm

— Chise 🧬🧫🦠🔬💉🥼🥽 (@sailorrooscout) January 1, 2023

A vaccinated immune system is likely to respond more quickly to the virus, shortening the duration of infection and thus infectiousness. And a fully boosted individual will be somehwat less likely to get and spread the virus.

chance of severe infection potentially leading to hospitalization or death. Even with immune-evasive variants, vaccine protection against what matters most-severe disease-remains intact. Sources:•https://t.co/8fDR2I7rAz•https://t.co/zM9VKhAC7J•https://t.co/wHr93FitmS

— Chise 🧬🧫🦠🔬💉🥼🥽 (@sailorrooscout) January 1, 2023

But they aren’t requiring mRNA vaccines, and they aren’t requiring boosters. Showing proof of a Chinese vaccine whose effectiveness against the original Wuhan strain was questionable at best is considered enough. Fear of an onslaught of infected people from China demands that politicians do something. And this is something.

By the way the ascendant strain of the virus in the U.S. appears less pathogenic even as it is more immune-evasive. People are going to get sick, but a smaller percentage of those will get very sick. Now isn’t the time to bring back restrictions, here or elsewhere. We should, of course, be updating vaccines for new variants (and accelerating development of new vaccines) and fast-tracking their distribution. But we are not even considering doing that.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *