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Thailand to open borders early, taking calculated risk

Prayuth strives to balance economic and health needs

People receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine inside a gymnasium at Thammasat University, in Pathum Thani, Thailand, on June 7.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand has given up achieving herd immunity as it races toward fully reopening its borders to vaccinated globe-trotters, and as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha weighs economic imperatives against risks to public health.

Prayuth on Wednesday launched an ambitious plan to start accepting visitors to all parts of Thailand in 120 days, but ongoing vaccine shortages have evoked skepticism among Thai citizens.

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