Business Travellers May Get Private Covid-19 Vaccination: Khairy

The start dates for a private Covid-19 vaccination programme for business travellers, or for the public-private partnership vaccine rollout, haven’t been set yet as priority is still on PICK, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — The government is considering a private Covid-19 vaccination programme for business travellers who frequently go abroad, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

The vaccine minister said however that the rollout date for this model, along with the public-private partnership (PPP) vaccination programme for businesses, has not been decided yet as the government’s priority is on the phased National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) that currently targets high-risk individuals.

“We are looking at a private immunisation model for business travellers — perhaps this is for those who require frequent travel overseas, and again, we have not commenced yet,” Khairy told a virtual press conference today.

“Our priority now is to ensure the vaccination programme is delivered for phased recipients, which are the elderly, people with comorbidities, as well as the disabled community, as well as finish up those within Phase One — the health frontliners who may have been missed out in certain states, like private dentists and private health care workers.”

The science, technology and innovation minister said the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) has had engagements with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), and the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the PPP coronavirus inoculation programme. 

“We’ll consider PPP as and when it will add value to the vaccination programme and as and when we have enough supplies so those people in Phase Two can adequately receive the vaccination during Phase Two implementation. 

“Nonetheless, we are proposing a few models for PPP where it’s on-site vaccination at factories and the cost of PPV (vaccination sites) will be borne by the industry and the government will supply the vaccines for free under PICK.”

He also said PPVs currently operate a six-day week, but CITF projects daily operations from June once more Covid-19 vaccines are delivered to the country. 

“The issue is not manpower, but rather an issue of vaccine supply. At the moment, we have close to 80 per cent vaccine utilisation rate. Only 20 per cent is kept in storage that will take through next week and the second dose,” said Khairy.

Yesterday, no Covid-19 vaccines were administered in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Putrajaya, and Labuan. Malaysia has inoculated 3.4 per cent of the total population with at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 2.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Malaysia expects delivery of 259,740 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine next week, comprising 197,730 doses on May 19, plus 44,460 doses on May 20, and 17,550 doses on May 21. The total Pfizer doses Malaysia would have received by May 21 is 2,490,930 doses.

A total of 615,120 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine is scheduled for delivery to Malaysia in two shipments on May 20 and June 1.

Khairy said the opt-in AstraZeneca vaccine rollout has had a 98 per cent attendance rate. Walk-ins are not permitted at AstraZeneca vaccination sites. These sites are given a daily waitlist.

If there are no-shows, the PPV will call those on the waitlist to offer them AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. 

“However, in a situation where those on the waitlist do not turn up despite confirming their attendance after receiving a call, then we will give the thawed vaccines, which can’t be stored again, to those present at the PPV. This is important to avoid vaccine wastage,” said Khairy.

Due to the Covid-19 surge, 2,800 AstraZeneca vaccination appointments on May 15 and 16 at the World Trade Centre (WTC) Kuala Lumpur will be rescheduled from May 17 to 23 to avoid overcrowding at the vaccination site.

Almost 19,000 appointments had been scheduled this weekend at WTC, according to full capacity at the site. This will be reduced to 8,100 appointments per day, or 16,200 for both days. 

“This change of date will be informed via SMS and notifications on MySejahtera from May 11,” said Khairy.

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