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Foreign workers get jabs in 2-day Phuket mass vaccination drive

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Vaccination for foreign workers began over the last 2 days. (via Flickr Marco Verch)

In 2 days, yesterday and today, Phuket has set out to vaccinate 22,613 migrant workers and 5,758 foreign workers who are legal with a work permit. Vachira Phuket Hospital has teamed up with Angsana Laguna Phuket resort in the north of Phuket and Central shopping centre in the middle of the island for the foreign worker mass vaccination drive.

The resort has offered up its Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space for the vaccination drive for foreign workers, using the large location to host all the vaccine recipients. ACES has been used by government officials as a vaccine centre for the duration of the vaccine campaign.

Angsana released a statement praising the efforts as a major step towards the Phuket Sandbox reopening scheme on July 1st. The Phuket Tourist Association and Ministry of Public Health are coordinating preparedness to receive guests, arranging procedures, protocol and testing plans. The TAT Safety & Health Administration programme created Covid-19 safety standards for hosting incoming tourists.

It was reported that the Central shopping centre was a much rougher scene compared to a smooth vaccination process in Angsana. Foreign workers waited in the car park for over an hour just to have their paperwork processed before being allowed into the shopping centre to receive their jabs.

Phuket had received a batch of 80,000 Sinovac vaccines on Tuesday to carry out the mass vaccination of foreign workers. Next week another 120,000 vaccines will arrive and another drive will run from June 11. So far 279,943 people have had one vaccine so far, and nearly 99,000 are fully vaccinated with 2 jabs. The number of single vaccine recipients is 60% of the target of 466,587 Phuket residents needed to be fully vaccinated to reach the 70% inoculation threshold for herd immunity.

As of now, only expats legally employed with a valid work permit are eligible for vaccines in Phuket. Government officials have not released any information on when and how expats that aren’t working can receive a vaccine. Many expats are on marriage or retirement visas, and don’t have work permits who are still awaiting details on how foreign residents can get vaccination.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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