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Phuket and Koh Samui request bulk deliveries of AstraZeneca Covid vaccines



Now Thailand’s Covid vaccine roll out has begun, it is starting to gather speed. The southern resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui have made requests to the Public Health Ministry for enough doses to vaccinate the majority of the islands’ residents in anticipation of an early return to some semblance of tourism. Both holiday islands have a high reliance on tourist dollars.

Private businesses in Phuket have made a formal request for 900,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Public Health Minister (Phuket has a permanent population of around 400,000 at this time). Yesterday, Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul claimed there would be “sufficient doses in the country and Thailand would have over 1 million doses if it could secure more doses next month”, according to the Bangkok Post. Reacting to Phuket’s private sector request…

“…the request would likely be approved since the government had secured 5 million doses for June and 10 million more each month after that.”

In addition to request for the the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Minister had already allocated doses of the Sinovac vaccine – 100,000 doses for Phuket and 50,000 for Koh Samui.

The Public Health Ministry is speeding up vaccinations in Phuket and Koh Samui to prepare them for the anticipated return of foreign tourists in July.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Monday spoke about the Phuket private sector’s request for 900,000 AstraZeneca doses, saying

The Minister also maintained that the Covid situation in Thailand was “under control” despite new clusters breaking out around the markets in Bang Khae, west of the Chao Phraya in Bangkok, and Samut Prakan, south and east of Bangkok.

A Bangkok Airways has been scheduled from Singapore direct to Koh Samui on July 1. The tourists would be quarantined under the Samui Sealed Route Model, according to the Tourism Association on the island. If the proposal goes to plan, Samui would be the first ‘bubble’ in Thailand to re-open to tourists, despite the restrictions that the ‘model’ requires, including 3 Covid tests and having their access to the island restricted for at least the first 7 days.

Despite the hype from Tourism Association of Koh Samui surrounding the Samui Sealed Route Model, it is still requires a quarantine with plenty of restrictions and unlikely to induce a flood of foreign tourists. Bangkok Airways has a monopoly on flights into Koh Samui.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World


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  1. Ian Bromley

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:13 am

    It is misleading to claim that the country has secured 5 million\10 million doses. That is notional production not actual and Astra Zeneca has a dreadful track record of production, delivering only 30% of contracted doses from its long established EU factories. Here they are using a newly constructed and totally unproven facility. So expect major problems arising very soon.

  2. B.T.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Looks like easier is to fly to BKK do the 10 days and be free without idiotic idea.They like new ideas ,terminology which will works only in the heads of genius.

  3. Les Weston

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:49 am

    If the hospitals in Phuket offered vaccination packages with a price tag, I’m sure there would be plenty of people within Thailand willing to spend money on a holiday there, boosting the areas tourist trade while protecting those of us who are old enough to be concerned about catching Covid. Two weeks in Phuket would provide a nice holiday whilst allowing you to return to your home in Thailand fully vaccinated.

  4. David Jackson

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Why not just vaccinate on arrival anyone coming to Thailand and charge them accordingly…job done.

  5. Michael

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Where do they want to get that vaccine? 10 million doses a month is a lot in a time that every country is fighting for vaccines.

  6. Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:34 am

    “Misleading”, Ian B?

    BS may be more realistic. ?

  7. Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:38 am

    “Why not just vaccinate on arrival anyone coming to Thailand and charge them accordingly…job done.”

    Because it would be pointless, David J.

    The vaccinations don’t give immediate protection or stop transmission, so anyone vaccinated on arrival would be in exactly the same position as anyone else and need to quarantine for 14 days – or, under the “revised” regs, 14, 10, 7, 3, or whatever other number gets plucked out of the hat.

  8. Patrick

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Non sense + jokes + fake news, will all bring us for psychiatric consultation. Any days more than 3 might only please few dozen of returnees. And with 3 days + all hassles, may be a couple of long stays tourists will show up

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