The southern island of Phuket has kicked off its vaccine rollout, after taking delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab. Vaccine administration began yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.
Nation Thailand reports that Vachira Phuket Hospital is administering the vaccines, with capacity to vaccinate 400 people a day. However, in order to meet Phuket’s target of 1,000 – 1,500 a day, doses are also being distributed to other hospitals on the island.
Phuket has been decimated by Covid-19, with international tourism plummeting and countless tourism-reliant businesses shut for good. The island is expected to take delivery of a further 16,000 vaccine doses, due to being prioritised as an “economically significant” province. After that, another 48,000 doses are expected in April or May, bringing the island’s total number of doses to 68,000. Frontline healthcare workers, tourism workers, and people over the age of 60 will be prioritised.
In 2019, Phuket welcomed around 10 million foreign visitors. According to the local tourism association, it has since lost about 80% of its tourism-related businesses, due to the pandemic.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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