The deferral came at a recommendation by Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Kusak Kukiattikoon at a meeting of the Phuket Provincial Communicable Disease Committee, chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong, on Wednesday (Sept 15).
The meeting recognised that business operators have formally requested the ban be lifted.
However, Dr Kusak noted, “We ask that Phuket Province [the provincial government] delay considering this issue first, because the area still has a high number of infected people. If there is a decrease in the number of infected people within the area, the issue can be considered again.”
Also present at the meeting was Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol, Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, who explained that the push to have people receive a third- dose ‘booster jab’ of COVID vaccine was forging ahead.
Dr Chalermpong explained that the current push was to have people who had already received two injections of the Sinovac vaccine receive a third injection, this time of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The booster shot is to be administered by using a subcutaneous injection technique. which is effective in building immunity,” he said.
Dr Chalermpong chaired a press conference on Wednesday afternoon announcing the results of a study by medical staff at Vachira Phuket Hospital confirming that using AstraZeneca as the booster shot vaccine ‒ even by administering much smaller doses than the standard dose recommended - had promising effects.
At the meeting on Wednesday, Dr Chalermpong explained that the plan to provide booster jabs targets three segments of the population, as follows:
Sept 12-18: Medical personnel and other frontline workers, as well as the first booster injections provided to people registered as living in Phuket.
Sept 19-15: People living in Phuket but with a registered address in other provinces, as well as government officers.
Sept 26-30: Third-dose booster injections for the general public, including migrant workers and foreigners living in Phuket.
“If this can be done, it is expected that the disease control in Phuket will be in a better situation,” Dr Chalermpong said.
Of note, as of this morning (Sept 17), the PPHO reported that so far 66,383 people in Phuket had already received their third-dose booster injection.
A notice published late last night by the ‘Official COVID-19 Information Center’ operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, called for people in Phuket to check their eligibility to receive the booster injections.
First, to receive the booster shots people must register through the PhuketMustWin website.
The first groups to receive priority are those registered as Phuket residents and who have any of the seven conditions placing them at greater risk of serious infection*. The registrants must also have received two vaccination injections of Sinovac (organised through the PhuketMustWin website) in June or July.
The second priority group are those registered as Phuket residents and have received two vaccination injections of Sinovac (organised through the PhuketMustWin website) before June 15.
The notice did advise, “If the conditions are not met, wait for the next round.”