Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol announced the news during a press conference this morning (Mar 10).
Dr Chalermpong sits on the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, which oversees all matters relating to COVID-19 in Phuket,
“We have already received 4,000 doses [of the Sinovac vaccine] for 2,000 people. We will receive 16,000 doses in April and 48,000 doses in May,” Dr Chalermpong explained.
“So far, 1,877 people have already been vaccinated. The remaining 123 people will be vaccinated this morning,” he added.
Of the 1,877 people vaccinated, 5.43% of them had side effects from the vaccination, such as nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, bruising, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea and rash, Dr Chalermpong said.
However, he emphasised that the side effects were only minor.
“Only a couple of people had to be under observation at the hospital,” he noted.
“I want to tell our Phuket brothers and sisters that the vaccines that we have asked for – both Sinovac and Astrazeneca – are safe. I want everyone on Phuket to be vaccinated,” he added.
“In the coming months, we will vaccinate local people and workers in the tourism industry,” Dr Chalermpong said.
To make the mass vaccination possible within the time frame, the government will seek assistance from the private sector.
“The vaccination plan from June to September is very important. We have discussed together with officials as well as representatives from government hospitals, private hospitals and the private sector,” Dr Chalermpong said.
“We will file a request for the Astrazeneca vaccine to the Executive Sub-committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Management, which has Dr Sopon Mekton as the chairman,” Dr Chalermpong noted.
“We will ask them for enough doses of the vaccine for about 131,000 people to be vaccinated in June, for 175,000 people to be vaccinated in July. and 125,000 people to be vaccinated in August.
“We will provide the second vaccination injections from August to October,” he said.
“We expect that at the end of September we will have at total 466,000 people vaccinated, comprising 432,000 people vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine and 34,000 people vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine.
“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.
“The vaccination injections will be given to about 77.6% of people living in Phuket, so we can open to welcome foreign tourists in October,” Dr Chalermpong said.