“We have already been approved by the Ministry of Public Health to provide a third injection of vaccine as a booster dose for medical staff this week,” Dr Chalermpong announced during a press conference broadcast live this morning (July 21).
“We expect that about 7,000 medical staff will receive the third injection. Then by the last week of this month we will provide a third injection to officers who are at risk of being infected, followed by our brothers and sisters [sic],” he said.
“The Phuket Governor has already filed a request to the ministry to provide vaccinations to our people [people in Phuket] as a booster dose,” Dr Chalermpong added.
The announcement that Phuket officials are looking to roll out a ‘third booster shot’ to increase protection against COVID-19 infections comes while about one third of the target population identified as needing to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity on the island still have yet to receive a second injection so they can be deemed to be “fully vaccinated”
Regardless, Dr Chalermpong this morning said, “Right now, we have provided first injections of vaccine to about 73% of Phuket people and second injections to over 70%. We will keep providing vaccinations to our people.
“I want to reach 80%, but we cannot inject those who are younger than 18 years old. If we could, we would have passed the 80%,” he added.
“Right now, we have a lot of vaccine doses for people, and the website [PhuketMustWin.com, at www.ภูเก็ตต้องชนะ.com] is also open for people from other provinces on the island to register by themselves [to be vaccinated],” he said.
UNEXPLAINED LACK OFVACCINATION JABS
The vaccination figures given by Dr Chalermpong today conflict with the daily reports issued by the PPHO.
According to the PPHO mass vaccination report posted yesterday, the number of people in Phuket who have received a second vaccination injection as of Monday (July 19) stood at 318,046 ‒ meaning that 148,541 people in Phuket are still not fully vaccinated.
Dr Chalermpong’s claim that 70% of people in Phuket are now fully vaccinated also defies the numbers given by the PPHO, which yesterday reported that as of Monday the number of people who had received second injections represented 68% of the target population needing to vaccinated to achieve herd immunity ‒ a percentage increase that has remained unchanged for nearly three weeks.
Further, the vaccination percentage numbers given by the PPHO rightfully are described as percentages of 466,587 target ‒ not a percentage of the actual number of people on the island.
The lack of progress in providing second vaccination injections comes while the PPHO reports that the number of people who have received one vaccination injection so far as of Monday stood at 404,590 ‒ meaning that 86,544 people on the island have received one injection, but are still waiting to receive their second injection, indicating that the issue is not with people wanting to be registered but instead with the inability of Phuket health officials to provide them.
Regardless, no senior Phuket officials involved with the mass vaccination campaign on the island have admitted that there have not been any vaccination doses delivered from Bangkok to administer to people still waiting for their second injection. They have remained silent on the issue.
Meanwhile, Dr Chalermpong’s call for people to register to be vaccinated also fails to be reconciled with the number of people reported by the PPHO as registered to be vaccinated.
So far 446,428 have registered, according to the PPHO, indicating that just over 95% of the 466,587 target have registered to receive a state-provided vaccination.
Meanwhile, foreigners in Phuket are still reporting that they are still waiting for confirmation that they have been registered to receive a state-provided vaccination.
The complaints follow more than 67,000 people earlier this month attempting to register to be vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine provided by Bangkok Hospital Phuket and Bangkok Hospital Siriroj, indicating that many people on Phuket want to be vaccinated if a vaccine of their choice is allowed to be provided.