The government is gearing up to start vaccinations in Phuket to expedite its reopening to tourism.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn on Saturday handed over 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Phuket.
This came at a meeting at Vachira Phuket Hospital about the Covid-19 vaccine management scheme. Mr Anutin said the vaccinations will start by next month. Phuket will be the first province to reopen for tourism, expected in early July.
"I will attempt to ask for cooperation from the private sector as we need more doctors to give the vaccines."
Mr Phiphat said the "Phuket Tourism Sandbox", as its reopening is called, will be able to start on July 1 as planned. Phuket will not accept tourists who come from risk countries and who have not been vaccinated, except for those from the European zone and China.
For the vaccine distribution scheme, a total of 50,040 doses were allocated to hospitals for the first vaccination, consisting of 35,000 doses to Vachira Phuket Hospital, 8,760 doses to Thalang Hospital, 3,760 at Patong Hospital and 2,520 doses at Chalong Hospital. The same amounts will be allocated to those hospitals for second shots later.
About 300,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be allocated to Phuket by the end of this month. More than 440,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will be provided August to ensure vaccination reaches up to 70% of the population.
Meanwhile, deputy provincial governor Piyapong Chuwong said he would beef up screening measures for travellers who enter via land and air. The measure takes effect on Sunday.
The travellers must have had two jabs and undergo a Rapid Antigen Test in advance. All travellers are required to download the "Mor Chana'' mobile tracking app or register on "www.gophuket.com" website.