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BANGKOK, June 23 — The US embassy in Thailand today turned down a direct appeal to fly in coronavirus vaccines for its citizens but said the US government was taking actions to boost vaccine access worldwide.
The embassy in a message to its citizens in Thailand said the state department could not provide vaccines to the millions of Americans abroad, but would advocate for equitable access locally.
The message comes after four US citizens’ groups last month wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for Thailand to be made a pilot project for vaccinating Americans abroad, who should have the same rights as at home.
US embassies have posted information about local vaccinations on their websites, saying the US government does not provide them.
Thailand’s mass vaccination drive, which includes foreigners, started this month amid its worst coronavirus outbreak so far. A record 51 deaths were announced today.
So far, about 2.3 million people in Thailand have been fully vaccinated.
France’s embassy today started vaccinating its citizens in Thailand. China has donated one million vaccine doses to Thailand, with 400,000 earmarked for its nationals.
The need to vaccinate elderly Americans who may be unable to travel home was “paramount”, Paul Risley, a US citizen and chair of Democrats Abroad, told Reuters.
Vaccinating American citizens would help alleviate the burden for Thailand, Risley said.
The US government will release seven million vaccine doses to countries in Asia, including Thailand, the embassy said. — Reuters
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