The pros, the cons, and those who’ve taken a jab at it.
By Natasha Sethi
This month marks the beginning of the nation’s vaccine rollout, which health officials hope will quell the fallout from the recent third wave. As of now, only approximately 2 percent of the population have had their first dose, while 0.8 percent have been fully vaccinated. As appointments are booked until further notice, and private hospitals are still trying to procure the necessary doses, we’re posing the question: would you travel abroad to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s what the community had to say.
“I would have to weigh out the pros and cons. If I were to travel solely for the vaccine, the answer would be no as I believe that it would not be financially feasible because of the ongoing economic situation. I also would not want to quarantine upon arrival back in Thailand.
“On the other hand, travelling to get the vaccine would be an opportunity to combine my work appointments abroad with getting the vaccine – a win-win situation. Travelling would also allow me the benefit of choice as there are more vaccination options, such as Pfizer and Moderna, that aren’t readily available in Thailand at the moment.”
Economics student at MUIC
“We were fortunate that Thailand had initially controlled the pandemic better than other countries, but with the ongoing third wave and only 2 percent of the population vaccinated, it seems like we’re back to square one. Now, a vaccine is our best shot at getting back to normal.
“So, I would definitely consider travelling to get vaccinated. If I decide to do a master’s abroad right away, being vaccinated would make that decision easier as it would put my family and me at ease. Of course, I’d have to consider which vaccine and where to get it, and I would ensure that I am not compromising my own or other people’s health in the process.”
RAJPAL SINGH NARANG
Businessman, Narang Travels
“I would not travel to get the vaccine and I have multiple reasons for my decision. First of all, I would much prefer getting vaccinated in my own country, even if that means waiting. Secondly, it is extremely unsafe to travel considering the severity of the current situation, and it is likely that someone you travel with could have the virus and begin to display some COVID-19-related symptoms. Thirdly, I would not want to quarantine when I get there and when I get back, and I also think it is expensive to be travelling at this point in time.”
MD, Varun International Co Ltd
“I got vaccinated in the U.S., but it was never my plan. I was travelling for personal reasons, but thinking about how long it was going to take before I’d be eligible for a vaccination in Bangkok, I chose to make an appointment here in California.
“The process was seamless; all I needed was a quick ID check. The person who vaccinated me was kind and reassuring, and I was surprised to learn that we didn’t have to pay a single penny, as the U.S. government is covering vaccinations for everyone without insurance.
“Overall, I’m feeling grateful and blessed to have received both doses of my Pfizer vaccine, and I hope that all my loved ones will feel equally safe soon.”