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Phuket Governor pushes to vaccinate 50,000 in seven days

Phuket Governor pushes to vaccinate 50,000 in seven days

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has called for people to register to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in a push that he hopes to see 50,000 people in Phuket receive their first injection within seven days of the April delivery arriving on the island.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 30 March 2021, 02:52PM

Photo: PR Dept 

Photo: PR Dept 

The call for people to register came at a special meeting of Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall on Sunday (Mar 28)

“We will certainly receive 100,000 doses of vaccines in April, and we plan to administer injections to 50,000 people within seven days,” Governor Narong said. 

“The 50,000 people will be mainly those who work in the tourism industry,” Governor Narong said.

“At this stage, 15,000 people have registered to be vaccinated. However, the vaccine will also be provided to officers and people from other industries who want to be vaccinated,” he said. 

The push to get mass vaccinations underway is in line with the goal of opening Phuket to receive foreign tourists by July 1 without enforcing any quarantine, Governor Narong explained.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration on Friday approved Phuket to receive vaccinated foreign tourists from July 1 under the ‘Phuket Tourism Sandbox’ plan on the condition that 70% of the island’s residents had also been vaccinated for the virus.

“For the Phuket Tourism Sandbox plan to open and welcome foreign tourists without quarantine from July 1, we will vaccinate our Phuket-registered people, those from other provinces but who work in Phuket, and foreigners,” Governor Narong said.

“We all have to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity as well as to boost confidence among foreign tourists [wanting to travel to Phuket],” he added.

“So, I want everyone to register for vaccination as fast as possible, in order to show our intention to the central government,” he said.

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“Show them that we all will be vaccinated before July 1 in order to recover Phuket’s economy as soon as possible,” Governor Narong urged.

However, the logistics of how so many people in Phuket can receive vaccination injections in just seven days remains to be explained.

Repeated explanations by officials report that nine vaccination centres will be set up across Phuket. Administering injections to 50,000 people in just seven days will require each centre to vaccinate nearly 100 people an hour, every hour for eight hours a day, during the seven days.

However, the vaccination centre set up at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town, according to the online registration form, is open only from 9am to 4pm.

Also not yet confirmed is when the vaccines will arrive. Governor Narong kept repeating “next month”, which starts on Thursday this week.

Another aspect that has raised much concern across the island is whether expats and retirees are included in the definition of “foreigners” when officials report who will be vaccinated.

The online form to register to be vaccinated is in Thai-language only and applicants must be Thai nationals. Applicants must enter a Thai government ID card number in order for the application to be accepted.

One foreign retiree reported to The Phuket News yesterday that he had presented himself at Vachira Phuket Hospital in person to register to be vaccinated at a later date, only to be declined as he did not have a Thai government ID card.

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Christy Sweet | 01 April 2021 - 13:32:47

In Oregon, variants  are merging and 4  people who were fully vaccinated now have Covid again. We've got another year to go- as all experts predicted. Just hunker down.  I'm now fully of the opinion this is a Gain of Function particle that Wuhan lab is directly responsible for. Please keep the borders sealed and 2 week quarantines in place.  

Kurt | 01 April 2021 - 08:51:44

Talking about herd immunity is to early. Scientists even not know yet how long a complete Covid vaccination 'stands'. For Yellow Fever it is 10 years, for Cholera just 6 months. For Covid-19 ???  Still unknown. Now in the 'west' we see a enormous rise in Covid cases among younger people, even age group 13-17 years old. ( scholars)

Kurt | 01 April 2021 - 08:35:01

I not see the sense of it that when my Thai neighbor and I go in 1 car to hospital for a covid-19 vaccination that the Thai neighbor get it and I not!

Kurt | 01 April 2021 - 08:31:26

@Maverick, of course this is not something of receptionist level. It is the Hospital management what shamefull divide Phuket Residents in Thai and no-Thai. Actualy making the whole Phuket vaccination process more complicated. I now, that is culture here, to make easy doing more complicated and over-bureaucratic in this developing country. 

Galong | 31 March 2021 - 16:07:27

No, you don't have to know how to read Thai.  You need to have some basic computer skills such as knowing how to translate a page. Chrome and Edge: right-click and hit translate to English. Firefox & some other browswers: cut & paste into Google Translate.

maverick | 31 March 2021 - 14:42:09

As for the Thai ID story you have a receptionist reading from a script so come on be fair - orders come from above and they haven’t figured out yet how they will reach out to the expat community this is a first time scenario and this is still a developing country 

maverick | 31 March 2021 - 14:39:37

Patience is a virtue I am sure it will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. Impossible to move forwards unless they vaccinate all adults which may disappoint some out there but let’s just wait and see before passing judgement. We need this and so do the Thai people 

CaptainJack69 | 31 March 2021 - 12:04:31

What about "expats and retirees" who are registered as Phuket residents in a yellow tabien baan? No one in power even seems to know that's a thing.

Also "Thai gov. ID card". We can easily get one of those. They're in the category of 'non-Thai national' but still "Thai gov. ID card" (ok, the online form is more specific there, if you can read Thai).

CaptainJack69 | 31 March 2021 - 12:03:19

Long story short we all know that foreigners will not be accepted for a very long time if at all.

Kurt | 31 March 2021 - 11:53:13

Is shameful, xenophobic and very discriminating toward foreigners by Vachira Hospital to demand a thai ID card for getting vaccinated. Covid-19 virus doesn't discriminate. A passport with visa/thai driving license must be accepted. This is another real negative attitude towards foreigners while Phuket with their average 1900 thb/month income is crying for tourists. Hypocrite

reality check | 31 March 2021 - 10:49:42

Try registering at a private hospital (not government).  You will probably have to pay.

Kurt | 31 March 2021 - 09:40:58

Very bad that a foreign retiree was refused vaccination on Phuket. The orders from 'Bangkok' are clear. Also vaccinate foreigners with working permits and retirement visa. The foreign Embassies got that promise from Thai Cabinet. That Thai Id card thinking is so stupid. A foreign passport with visa should do.


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