Phuket sets questionable goal of vaccinating 50,000 in 7 days

Phuket is hoping to inoculate 50,000 people within 7 days of the vaccine’s delivery to the island. The governor of the island, Narong Woonciew is asking for residents to register for the vaccine to get the ball rolling as soon as possible to help make the island ready for a possible July reopening.

“We will certainly receive 100,000 doses of vaccines in April, and we plan to administer injections to 50,000 people within seven days. The 50,000 people will be mainly those who work in the tourism industry. At this stage, 15,000 people have registered to be vaccinated. However, the vaccine will also be provided to officers and people from other industries who want to be vaccinated.”

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration approved the Andaman island to receive vaccinated foreign tourists from July 1 under the ‘Phuket Tourism Sandbox’ plan. But only on a condition that 70% of the island’s residents are vaccinated for the virus.

“We all have to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity as well as to boost confidence among foreign tourists wanting to travel to Phuket. So, I want everyone to register for vaccination as fast as possible, in order to show our intention to the central government. Show them that we all will be vaccinated before July 1 in order to recover Phuket’s economy as soon as possible.”

But explaining how the island will vaccinate so many people in so little time has been met with numbers that don’t add up. Officials say 9 vaccination centres will be set up across the island, but that means each centre would have to vaccinate 100 people an hour, for 8 hours, to achieve the goal within 7 days.

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But major hospitals like Vachira Phuket Hospital say they are only open from 9am to 4pm as per their online registration form. The day the vaccines will arrive has also not been confirmed as Governor Narong, according to The Phuket News, has repeatedly said “next month” in reference to any actual date that the vaccines would arrive.

To muddy up the process more, it is not clear if expats and retirees would be included in the inoculations as the definition of “foreigners” is unclear. When visiting the online form to register,the language is only in Thai and it states the applicants can only be Thai nationals, and only a government ID is currently being accepted on the website.

So far, there is no news when, or it, foreigners will be included in the mass inoculations, but achieving a 70% herd immunity by July may require some foreigners to receive the vaccination.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

Covid-19 NewsPhuket News

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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