According to a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) posted earlier today (June 17), Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong said yesterday that about 74% of people in Phuket have received a vaccination injection.
Speaking at a meeting at Phuket International Airport, Vice Governor Pichet presented vaccination figures by referring to three groups of people: people registered as living in Phuket, people in Phuket registered as living in other provinces, and migrant workers and expats.
“For people registered as living in Phuket, there are about 310,000 people, about 67% have received their injection,” V/Gov Pichet said.
“For People who work in Phuket but come from other provinces, there are more than 100,000 people, and at this stage, about 108,000 people or about 108% have received their injection,’ he added.
“For migrant workers and expats, there are about 74,000 on the island. It is planned to give injections to 70% or 56,700 people [of this group]. At this stage, 23,280 people or 41% have received their injection.
“So that, from 466,000 people on the island, 345,000 or 74% have been vaccinated,” V/Gov Pichet said, according to the report.
Oddly, according to the report, V/Gov Pichet made no mention that with 74% of the population receiving injections that the island had achieved “herd immunity”, as required by the conditions for the island to reopen to receiving foreign tourists from July 1 under the Phuket Tourism Sandbox policy/
Also of note, from the numbers given in the report for the number of people vaccinated in each group, a total of 338,980 people in Phuket have received a vaccination injection.
Even with the new figure of 466,000 given as the “about” population on the island, 344,840 people must have received a vaccination injection in order to achieve 74%.
According to a report posted by PR Phuket this morning, so far 75% of the long-established target population have been vaccinated ‒ not 75% of the total population to be vaccinated.
The report marked that under Phuket mass vaccination campaign so far 350,262 people had received one vaccination injection, while 176,182 people had received two injections.
As such, the report noted that 75% of the target 466,587 had received one injection, and that 35% of the target population had received two injections.
The one apparently reliable figure presented was that 403,465 people so far had registered to receive a COVID vaccination in Phuket. All vaccination registrations in Phuket must be conducted through the ‘Phuket Must Win website (www.ภูเก็ตต้องชนะ.com).
Similar reports from other Phuket government agencies citing the redefined population of Phuket ‒ using the target number of people to be vaccinated as if it were the actual registered population of the island ‒ began circulating last week.
The incorrect figure has even been re-reported by national leaders, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who last Saturday posted through his official Facebook page that more than 70% of people on the island had been vaccinated.
The target number of people to be vaccinated of 466,587 was clearly established back in March, by Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol, who sits as a senior figure on the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, which officiates all policies regarding COVID-19 in Phuket.
On Mar 10, Dr Chalermpong explained, “At this stage, Phuket has about 600,000 people, comprising 417,000 people registered as permanent residents in the civil registration database, 100,000 people from other provinces, and 81,000 foreigners and migrant workers.
Dr Chalermpong also said at the time, “The vaccination injections will be given to about 77.6% [about 465,600] of people living in Phuket, so we can open to welcome foreign tourists in October.”
Two days after Dr Chalermpong’s explanation of the mass vaccination plan, Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, the new Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), confirmed the number of people Phuket to be vaccinated ahead of reopening the island to receiving foreign tourists under what was then the #PhuketFirstOctober plan.
Dr Kusak, who took up the position of PPHO Chief only a week earlier on Mar 8, revealed the plan at the meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall on Mar 12.
Dr Kusak explained that 417,402 people were registered as living in Phuket, with 250,986 residents registered as living in Muang District, 99,840 people registered as living in Thalang district and 66,576 people registered as living in Kathu District.
Of those, 106,865 were children under 18 years old, leaving 310,537 people, or 74.40% of the island’s population, to be vaccinated for COVID-19, he said.
In total, 94,100 people working in the tourism industry are to be vaccinated. “This sector must be 100% vaccinated,” Dr Kusak said.
Of the 7,500 people working in other businesses, 5,250 people – or 70% – are to be vaccinated for COVID-19, he continued.
Of the 80,000 foreign workers on the island, 70%, or 56,700 people, are also to be vaccinated for the disease, Dr Kusak added.