The news follows PPAO President Rewat Areerob on Monday last week (Aug 23) announcing, “Right now, about 50,000-60,000 people who are registered in Phuket have not received any vaccinations… The PPAO would like to help staff of the three main government hospitals ‒ Vachira Phuket, Thalang and Patong ‒ so we will be open for walk-in vaccinations at the Phuket Merlin Hotel on the five days [Sept 1-5], from 8:30am to 4pm.”
However, one foreigner informed The Phuket News that he arrived at the hotel yesterday (Sept 1) only to be turned away.
Piyaporn Yothee, Head of PPAO’s Public Health Division, confirmed to The Phuket News this afternoon, “The vaccination station at the Merlin Hotel under the PPAO provides vaccinations only for Thai people.
“Vaccinations for foreigners is operated by the Phuket [Provincial] Government and Vachira Phuket Hospital,” Ms Piyaporn said.
“People who want to receive vaccination here need to register through PhuketMustWin.com [www.ภูเก็ตต้องชนะ.com] first,” Ms Piyaporn explained.
“If people come to the vaccination station [at the Merlin Hotel] without being registered, we will ask them to register through the site by using their phone because we need to have information of every person in our system,” Ms Piyaporn added.
However, Ms Piyaporn offered no explanation as to why the foreigner had been turned away.
Pfizer for foreigners
Foreigners 60 years old or over, or with one of eight medical conditions deemed to place them at greater risk of serious consequences of contracting COVID-19, can now register through the PhuketMustWin website to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The news was announced late yesterday through a post shared on the “Phuket COVID-19 & Phuket Sandbox (Official Phuket Information Center)” Facebook page, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior.
Phuket officials have not made any other announcements to inform foreigners of the new COVID vaccination option.
In order for a foreigner’s registration to be accepted, at least one of the following conditions must be selected during the registration process:
- Age over 60 years old
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Obesity (BMI > 35 kg/m2 or BW > 100 kg)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Pregnancy: Gestational age > 12 weeks
The announcement gave no indication when the Pfizer vaccinations would begin.