City Hall this morning ordered that vaccination documents be more closely monitored after confirming that some residents in Bangkok’s largest and poorest community have sold their vaccination documents to non-citizens for up to THB,3000 (US$95).
Reacting to rampant rumors, City Hall spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said there were instances of Khlong Toei residents selling their vaccination queue cards to foreigners who want to secure a jab, adding that local officials have been instructed to be more watchful and find a way to prevent it from repeating.
The rumors were further amplified recently by a member of the ruling conservative party, who promoted the idea, without offering evidence, that residents of the sprawling riverside community were using their registration cards as a source of income.
Koranit Ngamsukhonrattana, a Palang Pracharath Party MP representing the capital’s Khlong Toei-Wattana districts, said she learned about from a community leader she refused to name that some vaccination cards were sold to Chinese and Korean nationals for prices ranging from THB300(US$9) to 3,000.
On Sunday, opposition Pheu Thai Party MP Yuttapong Jarassatian mentioned the sale of inoculation spots in comments urging the government to up its vaccination game.
“How is this possible? People these days are willing to give up their vaccines because they cannot afford to eat,” Yuttapong said.
Demand for vaccines has run high among non-Thai nationals as evidence mounts that they are indeed, as feared, relegated to the back of the line when it comes to vaccine distribution. China is the only nation known so far to organize vaccinations for its citizens living in Thailand.
The director of the Khlong Toei District office, Suchai Amorndararat, said some vaccination coupons might have been “slipped” to non-Khlong Toei residents, but said they were a minority.