The Public Health Ministry is mulling over issuing colored vaccine cards that will basically segregate people who haven’t been vaccinated from those who have, and those who have recovered from Covid as people reengage in social activities.
Public health permanent secretary suggested the vaccination cards be green and yellow; Green for fully vaccinated and yellow for people who have recovered from the virus within one to three months.
Mr Kiattiphum Wongrajit told the Bangkok Post that the vaccination cards are currently being studied by the Thai government. He said the cards will be especially useful for operators and staff in businesses where they must come into close contact with the general public.
He said the cards would complement the governments progressive easing of lockdown measures on Wednesday. Restrictions across 29 provinces with the highest Covid-19 prevalence have now been eased.
Restaurants are once again allowed to serve customers but only at 50% capacity, while shops are reopening their doors. The easing of restrictions has been prompted by a continued decline in daily infections. Some expats on travel forums that heard about the vaccine cards have compared them to the Nazi’s color coding the Jewish people.
Vaccination cards slammed
News of the vaccination cards has stirred concerns among many foreigners living in Thailand who communicate on social media. Many believe they will just cause segregation and predigest thinking.
It’s not much different than putting a band on your arm like the Nazi’s did to the Jews to segregate them from the rest of the people, one Facebook user said. People without a card will just be shunned and ostracized.
I’m waiting for Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to arrive so now I’ll be ostracized for not being vaccinated? Its bad enough I’m over charged for everything because I’m white one Facebook user posted.
The green cards, which may be digitally issued to people who have had two vaccine doses. They will draw on the vaccination history kept in the Mor Prom database. The yellow cards identify their holders who have been cured of Covid-19, whose immunity against the virus has been naturally developed.
However, the cards may be valid for a short period of time pending a review of the holders’ immunity levels.
People who are still waiting to be vaccinated or have decline the vaccines for health and personal issues will not be issued any colored cards. Critics believe the issuance of vaccination cards will segregate the non-vaccinated people and create predigest against them.
Complaints of no vaccine
Meanwhile, Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DoDC), said the cards were in a conceptual phase and if the cards were to be implemented, they would be launched in October with a pilot program starting later this month.
Also on Tuesday, the DoDC said restaurants and service businesses may resume operations on Wednesday without their staff required to have been immunised against Covid-19 or tested negative for the virus for the time being.
A grace period to allow staff time to get vaccinated has been given after complaints were made by businesses that most of their employees have not been offered the vaccine yet.
Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the DoDC’s director for emergency health hazards and diseases, said establishments must practice health protection measures, including the wearing of face masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing, in their premises.
“Covid-19 will not go away and many countries are finding safe ways to live with the virus,” Dr Chawetsan also said.