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Thailand’s Buriram makes refusing COVID-19 vaccinations a criminal offense

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The governor of each and every Thailand’s province has the authority to introduce COVID-19-prevention and restriction measures as they deem appropriate.

  • Buriram orders people in high-risk groups to take COVID-19 vaccine or face fine and jail time
  • Refusal to take a survey, would result in fine of 10,000 Thai baht ($319) or up to 30 days in prison
  • Refusal to vaccinate could lead to up to two years in prison and a fine of 40 thousand baht ($1,280)

Buriram has become the first province in Thailand to criminalize refusal to vaccinate against COVID-19.

Buriram provincial authorities ordered people in high-risk groups to take coronavirus vaccine or face fine and jail time.

The official decree making refusal to vaccinate a criminal offence was signed by Buriram Governor on Thursday night.

The document, signed by the Governor of Buriram, Thatchakorn Hatthatthayakun, orders all residents of the province over the age of 18 to complete a survey to assess the risk of contracting coronavirus infection. The completed questionnaire should be handed over to medical workers by May 31.

“Persons who, according to the results of the questionnaire, are considered by health workers to be at risk of contracting coronavirus infection, health workers have the right to prescribe compulsory vaccination against COVID-19, after which such persons will be required to appear at the vaccination point on the day and hour appointed by the health worker and receive a vaccine,” specified in the governor’s decree.

Refusal to take a survey, would result in fine of 10,000 Thai baht ($319) or up to 30 days in prison. Refusal to vaccinate, when prescribed by health workers, will result in a fine of 20 thousand Thai baht ($640).

Those who refuse mandatory prescribed vaccination can also be prosecuted under the law on combating the spread of dangerous infectious diseases, which provides for up to two years in prison and a fine of 40 thousand baht ($1,280).

The governor of each and every Thailand’s province has the authority to introduce COVID-19-prevention and restriction measures as they deem appropriate, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), formed under the power of the state-of-emergency decree.



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