KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — The government will use a scorecard based on Covid-19 infection risk and economic contributions to determine which economic frontline workers will be given priority vaccination, Khairy Jamaluddin said.
The science, technology, and innovation minister said yesterday that the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) has established a Special Committee on Evaluating Early Access to Covid-19 Vaccines (JKPAV) to assess the risk and eligibility of those classified as economic frontliners to get early Covid-19 shots.
Economic frontline workers from essential industries who regularly interact with other individuals in their work will be offered priority inoculation after completion of the first two phases of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme for frontliners and high-risk individuals.
JPKAV, which comprises experts from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of International Trade and Industry, will study the impact of a particular sector on Malaysia’s economic recovery, besides looking at workers’ age, health situation, and work environment to determine if they should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccines.
“So, each different group is given a score and that score is then presented to the committee,” Khairy told a panel discussion yesterday on Covid-19 vaccine rollouts and the recovery of the ASEAN economy, organised by think tank CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council.
“It goes through a risk assessment as well as an assessment of the economic impact of that sector on the economy as well. It’s not done randomly by just me.”
Khairy said that based on the same risk assessment, Malaysian athletes representing the country for the Tokyo Olympics this year have been given priority to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
“There’s going to be an area where (there’s) close contact, physical contact, a lot of people in the Olympics, as well as representing the country. So, that qualifies according to risk assessment,” Khairy said.
The Olympic Games will be held between July 23 and August 8 this year in Tokyo, Japan.
Besides that, Khairy said that JKPAV has identified the manufacturing sector for prioritisation of coronavirus vaccination and is currently looking into the aviation sector as well for early border opening.
“One easy sector that we have identified for prioritisation is manufacturing simply because it has a huge bearing on the Malaysian economic profile and also because manufacturing has been a source of transmission clusters, especially amongst manufacturing workers. So, we landed on that quite easily,” the vaccine minister added.
Yesterday, CodeBlue published an analysis on Covid-19 clusters in Malaysia that showed 38.5 per cent of clusters reported nationwide between February 22 and April 2 this year were from factories, while construction sites contributed 8.6 per cent of clusters.