Making history was Vachira Hospital Ear, Nose, Throat specialist Dr Sawatchai Nawakitrangsan, the first person on Phuket to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol confirmed that 4,000 doses of the vaccine arrived at about 9am, the first delivery of any COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket.
Among the first to be vaccinated will be 1,500 medical staff on the island, followed by 500 local officers, Dr Chalermpong explained.
The vaccine requires two injections, he noted.
A total of 1,800 doses will be used to vaccinate 900 medical personnel at the five government hospitals on the island: Vachira Phuket Hospital, Thalang Hospital, Patong Hospital, Chalong Hospital, and Phuket Provincial Administration (OrBorJor) Hospital, Dr Chalermpong said.
A further 1,200 doses will be distributed to vaccinate 600 staff at four private hospitals on the island: Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Bangkok Hospital Siriroj, Dibuk Hospital and Mission Hospital.
“We have already arranged staff and set up an area to conduct the eight steps for the vaccination process. Today, we will start injecting the vaccine to our 50 medical staff who already registered to be the first group,” Dr Chalermpong said.
“Vachira Phuket Hospital has the capacity to inject the vaccine to only 400 people per day. However, we will send the vaccine to the other hospitals across the island so that the total rate of vaccination [for Phuket] can be about 1,500 people per day,” he said.
“In the next delivery, we will receive 16,000 doses of vaccine, and another 48,000 doses will come in May. In total, for the first three months, we will receive 68,000 doses of vaccine,” he added.
“In total, the vaccine will be provided to our target groups, comprising those who have high-risk contact with infected patients, those who have chronic diseases, workers in the tourism industry, and elders more than 60 years old,” Dr Chalermpong said.