Dr Chalermpong, who sits on the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, which oversees all matters relating to COVID-19 in Phuket, announced the news during a press conference earlier today (Feb 24).
“For the vaccine, we have good news that the Sinovac vaccine has now arrived in Thailand. The first 200,000 doses of the vaccine already arrived yesterday [Feb 23],” Dr Chalermpong said.
“It’s our good luck that every type of vaccine coming to Thailand will be provided to Phuket. Not every province, but only selected provinces, including Samut Sakhon as the highest control area,” he added.
“After Bangkok and the Greater Bangkok control areas, Phuket is classified as an area to help move the national economy, and society – along with Chon Buri, Surat Thani [including Koh Samui], and Chiang Mai,” he said.
“At first, we [Phuket] will receive 4,000 doses of vaccine,” Dr Chalermpong added.
The remaining 1.8 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine for Thailand will arrive in country on April 1 and May 1, Dr Chalermpong explained.
“For the Sinovac vaccine, we will receive a total of 68,000 doses for Phuket,” he confirmed.
Regarding the following delivery of vaccine doses to Thailand, Dr Chalermpong continued, “The second delivery, which will come from AstraZeneca, we will receive around June to August. We will receive about 40 million doses, and about 30 million doses around September to December.
“In total, Thailand will receive about 63 million doses of vaccine, which can serve the national goal to vaccinate half of the population.
“Thailand has a population of about 66 million. If we can provide vaccines to 33 million people, it is considered as ‘comprehensive’,” he said.
A person will need to receive two injections, Dr Chalermpong made clear.
“For the first delivery we already know how many doses of vaccine we will receive, but for the second delivery, we still do not know. That is under the consideration of the central vaccine management [sic],” Dr Chalermpong explained.
“For the private sector that wants to purchase vaccines by themselves, at this stage the CCSA has asked them to wait until the first delivery has been made. After that, there is the potential to ease measures and allow them to purchase vaccines and open the island to foreign tourists in October,” he said.
“If about 80-90% of people in Phuket are vaccinated and the coming tourists are also vaccinated, there is a high possibility to make this happen,” he concluded.