The aim is to provide first injections of Sinovac to 22,613 migrant workers and 5,758 foreign workers over just two days, yesterday and today (June 3-4), Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Chalermpong Sukontapol has explained.
At the Angsana Laguna Phuket resort, on the island’s central west coast, Laguna Phuket Managing Director Ravi Chandran said that Laguna Phuket was “very happy” to use the Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space (ACES) for the vaccination push.
Angsana Laguna Phuket has been the site of the official government vaccination centre in Thalang, covering the whole north half of the island, for the whole duration of the Phuket government’s mass-vaccination campaign.
“Laguna Phuket is well behind the Phuket Sandbox. We have been working with PTA [Phuket Tourist Association], and the Ministry of Public Health, all our staff have been SHA trained, certificated, certificated in SHA, at all our seven hotels,” he said.
“We are very happy to help and use our big ACES center as a vaccination centre for the whole of the Thalang area to help Phuket,” he added.
“We’re ready in terms of testing, protocol, procedures. Now it is a case of waiting for the guests. We have to do sales and marketing, work with the TAT, work with the government, see what the procedures are for international customers coming in ‒ but we are ready,” Mr Chandran noted.
Michal Zitek, Area General Manager of Angsana, Laguna Phuket, agreed.
“Today is the 3rd of June and we are here at our Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space on the continuing vaccination programme and today they are allowing the expatriates on the island to be vaccinated
“The exciting part for this it means that for all of the Angsana associates as well as for all the other hotels in the Laguna area we are going to be 100% vaccinated and we are going to be 100% ready to welcome the guests from the 1st of July once the Sandbox reopens,” he said.
“Not only is it the vaccinations, of course we are still following the Amazing Thailand TAT Safety & Health Administration [SHA] programme to ensure our procedures are also matching our preparedness. So all of the staff have been vaccinated, our operating procedures are following the SHA Safety & Health Administration standards.
“And starting from the 1 July there will also be SHA+, which is like an extension of those standards that allows us to be even more prepared, more ready to welcome all of the guests who of course will be very comforted by the preparations of not only Angsana and Laguna Resorts but of Phuket overall,” he added.
“We are ready, 1 July, we look forward to welcoming you,” Mr Zitek said.
While the vaccination of foreigners at Angsana progressed smoothly, delays at the heavily booked Central shopping mall in the center of the island saw delays as foreigners spent well over an hour waiting in the car park to have their documents processed before being moved to inside the mall to be vaccinated.
So far there have been no reports of severe adverse side effects among foreigners receiving the Sinovac vaccine in the mass rollout yesterday. One young man, a teacher at a local international school, experienced a dizzy spell and fainted after receiving his injection. The Phuket News spoke to the man, who confirmed that the incident involved his reaction to any injection and procedures involving needles.
Dr Chalermpong yesterday explained that Phuket on Tuesday had already started receiving doses of the Sinvovac vaccine in order to carry out second-jab injections, with 80,000 doses of Sinovac.
“A further 120,000 doses are to arrive next Wednesday (June 9)... The second-injection vaccinations will begin on June 11,” he said.
While the mass vaccination for foreigners in Phuket who have been issued work permits, Phuket officials have yet to make any announcements about how non-working expats in Phuket, including long-stay retirees, may register to be vaccinated.
Before the mass vaccination of foreigners began yesterday, Phuket officials confirmed that as of Wednesday (June 2) 60% of the target 466,587 people on the island needing to be vaccinated in order for the island to inoculate 70% of the island’s population to achieve herd immunity had received at least one vaccination injection.
The report, posted yesterday, noted that so far 279,943 people in Phuket had received one injection of the Sinovac vaccine and 98,795 people receiving two injections.
Deployment of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Phuket has yet to begin.