It is a bit more than just a small embarrassment in this day and age when a Public Health Minister is banned from a country for not being properly vaccinated.
But that is what happened to Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul this week, when he was banned from entering Switzerland due to not having had the right vaccinations against Covid-19.
At least according to the Swiss.
This all came about after Anutin attempted to travel to Switzerland for a World Health Organization meeting. But, when Swiss authorities discovered he had been given China’s Sinovac vaccine (twice), plus a third ‘booster’ of the AstraZeneca vaccine, they denied him entry to the country.
According to Swiss health regulations in the time of Covid-19, these vaccines do not meet Swiss requirements, so Anutin would need to have at least one more shot and wait the requisite time for the vaccine to become effective before he would be admitted.
To Switzerland or to many other countries that do not recognize the Sinovac vaccine as effective against the spread of Covid-19.
An even more embarrassing circumstance for Anutin as the Thai Public Health Minister is that he has been one of the people behind the push for the Sinovac vaccinefrom the beginning and was, in fact, the first person in Thailand to be injected with the Chinese vaccine in late February.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the other hand, was given the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Meanwhile, in response to Anutin being banned from Switzerland, he has now announced a fourth dose of an ‘acceptable’ vaccine will be offered to anyone planning on traveling overseas.
Of course, with no scientific studies on what mixing and matching or giving someone two, three, four or more ‘booster’ shots of a Covid-19 vaccine could do to someone’s long-term health, there will be many people that will simply refuse and decide to stay in Thailand instead.