Through a live video broadcast online just after 7am today, Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong called the move a “temporary suspension”.
The key motivation for the upheaval was that certain groups had complained to the Phuket Governor that people from outside Phuket were registering through Phuket Must Win[www.ภูเก็ตต้องชนะ.com] to receive a state-provided vaccine, Vice Governor Piyapong said.
“That may leave people in Phuket not being vaccinated, thus prompting Phuket Province [Phuket Provincial Government] to conduct a review of the information of people who have registered through Phuket Must Win, especially those who do not have a house registration in Phuket, [to check] whether they really work or live in Phuket or not and whether they have provided accurate and complete information,” he added.
“Phuket Province, therefore, postponed the [vaccination injection] appointments of registrants not registered as living in Phuket from May 25 to allow such people to enter the review process and to make it clear that those people are actually working or living in Phuket.
“This may cause inconvenience to people, but I confirm that once you go through the eligibility review process, you will be offered a vaccination appointment next for sure,” he said.
“However, those who have received the message to temporarily postpone your vaccination, please hurry and proceed with the steps recommended by ‘Phuket Province’,” Vice Governor Piyapong urged.
Of the people who have received such messages, people who work in Phuket are to present a formal document from the organisation or business they work for proving that they do so to the district office, local administrative organisation (OrBorTor) or municipality for the relevant area to confirm their right to register through Phuket Must Win, Vice Governor Piyapong explained.
“In case you are a self-employed person, please coordinate with your village headman in order to certify your right to register, then bring the certified documents to the district office, local administrative organisation (OrBorTor) or municipality to confirm your right to register through Phuket Must Win,” he added.
“Phuket vaccinations will continue until June 16,” Vice Governor Piyapong assured
The move to suspend some people’s vaccination appointments follows officials on Saturday night (May 22) announcing that the ‘Phuket Must Win’ vaccination registration web portal will no longer accept registrations from Thais from June 5, and no longer receive registrations of foreigners after tomorrow (May 25).
Vice Governor Piyapong this morning gave no indication when the web portal will resume receiving registrations.
Since that announcement the Official COVID-19 Information Center Phuket, operated by the Ministry of Interior Phuket office (also commonly called by officials ‘Phuket Province’, meaning the Phuket Provincial Government) has posted two clear warnings for people to not provide false information to to officials along with assurances that Phuket residents who have legitimately registered to receive a vaccination injection will be vaccinated.
The centre issued an ‘URGENT NOTICE’ yesterday afternoon announcing that vaccination appointments had been cancelled for people registered as living outside Phuket, effective from May 25 (tomorrow).
The urgent notice called for people to confirm their right to register in the same manner as explained by Vice Governor Piyapong this morning.
However, the urgent notice also warned that providing false information to officials was an offence under the Criminal Code punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to B10,000, or both.
Hours later, the centre issued another notice yesterday evening explaining the process for people to register.
The centre issued another notice at 7am today, this time toning down its message, urging people to follow the steps instructed by Vice Governor Piyapong this morning.
The centre issued yet another notice at 9am, urging people to not panic and follow the instructions given.
MASS VACCINATION PLAN ‒ UPDATED
Called in this morning to explain the ongoing mass-vaccination plan was Bhummikitti Raktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association, who explained that the plan is to vaccinate people in Phuket in four groups:
Group 1: 417,402 people registered as living in Phuket, minus 106,865 children under 18 years old, leaving 310,537 people to be vaccinated. The province aims to vaccinate 100% of this group.
Group 2: Workers in tourism businesses who are not registered as living in Phuket, 94,100 people (100% vaccination required).
Group 3 Workers in other businesses who are not registered as living in Phuket, 7,500 people (70% to be vaccinated, equivalent to 5,250 people).
Group 4: 80,000 migrant workers (70% to be vaccinated, equivalent to 56,700).
The breakdown gave a total of 466,587 people required to be vaccinated in order to reach the goal of inoculating 70% of people on the island, which will require 933,174 doses of the vaccine, Mr Bhummikitti said.
Also present for the live broadcast this morning was Pracha Asawathira, Director of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency Phuket office.
Mr Pracha maintained that registrations for people to receive a vaccination in Phuket must be made through the Phuket Must Win portal.
He also repeated all the requirements for people not registered as living in Phuket as already explained by Vice Governor Piyapong.
“As for foreigners working for businesses or organisations registered in Phuket, register [through Phuket Must Win] for the type of organisation [the foreigner works for] and wait for the injection queue [scheduled appointment],” Mr Pracha said.
“The system will have a SMS notification to select the next vaccination queue,” he added.
Today’s briefing made no recognition announcement by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok on Friday that all expats in the country will be able to register for state-provided vaccination through “on-site registration” at public or private hospitals where the expat’s medical records are kept, or at any other venue designated by provincial health officials from June 7.