PH embassy in Thailand seeks wider vaccination access for Filipinos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — The Philippine embassy in Bangkok has asked the Thai government for wider COVID-19 vaccination among Filipinos in Thailand as the country battles a surge in infections.

"We have been in touch with the Filipino community as well as the Thai authorities, because we have been appealing for a wider access to the vaccination," Ambassador Millicent Cruz-Paredes told a Palace briefing on Thursday - the same day Thailand hit a record-high increase in cases with around 13,600 more reported.

Cruz-Paredes said the embassy has launched its own registration portal for Filipinos who wish to get their coronavirus shots. This would help the Thai government in contacting those eligible for inoculation, she added.

"May mga portals din po ang [There are also portals created by] Thai authorities for our Filipino community to register. We have always put that on our website, because we have been getting a lot of requests din po [too]," she said.

The envoy also said the embassy is currently processing repatriation requests, with some 90 Filipinos having already signified their intent to return home.

There are around 30,000 Filipinos in Thailand, according to Cruz-Paredes. She said at least 30 caught the coronavirus - all but one have already recovered.

Thailand has so far tallied over 450,000 COVID-19 cases, based on figures from its government. Data from Johns Hopkins University also showed Thailand has already administered at least 14.8 million vaccine doses, with around 5% of the population now fully vaccinated.