KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — The government has allocated an additional RM400 million to procure Covid-19 vaccines to cover 130 per cent of the population, an additional 10 per cent coverage from the previous budget.
The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) mentioned earlier that the government spent RM3.5 billion ringgit to buy 73.5 million coronavirus vaccine doses to cover 38.5 million people, or 120 per cent of the population in Malaysia.
“The increase of vaccine supply is, among others, additional stock as well as to start the vaccination process for 6.4 million adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. Priority will be given to students who will sit for their SPM examination this year,” Muhyiddin said in a national broadcast.
The prime minister also announced several new financial allocations to accelerate the Covid-19 inoculation drive in the country.
The government aims to open 29 new Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV), upgrade existing PPV, implement drive-through PPV initiative, mobile PPV and home-to-home outreach programmes with a total allocation of RM200 million.
Muhyiddin also announced an increment of RM50 ringgit for all health care volunteers, including those who work at PPVs or quarantine centres.
Health care volunteers who work for more than 12 hours in a day will begin to receive RM100 ringgit per day, beginning this month.
“I am also requesting all PPVs to operate seven days in a week to speed up the vaccination process for people.”
In addition, the government also agreed to coordinate a special allowance for 14,000 frontliners who were involved in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK). The frontliners will receive RM600 ringgit, an increase of RM400, for six months starting from July
“These two initiatives involve an additional allocation of RM200 million. This provision constitutes continued recognition of our health care frontliners’ services and contributions to continue to fight for the sake of our beloved nation,” said Muhyiddin.
Besides that, the government has allocated RM150 million for Public-Private Covid-19 Industrial Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) to reduce the burden of companies that must bear the cost of vaccinating their employees.
Under PIKAS, the government will provide free Covid-19 vaccines for employers, but employers must bear the cost of vaccine administration for workers.
Under this new financial assistance, companies registered under HRD Corp can use up to 10 per cent of the current balance levy payment for inoculation costs or to procure Covid-19 vaccines.
The government has also agreed to give a tax deduction on expenses, including equipment and preparation costs to set up a PPV at the workplace.
“The government is willing to consider allowing companies to operate at full capacity if all employees complete two doses of vaccine.”
Finally, the government has allocated RM1 billion to ease the Covid-19 vaccination process for vulnerable groups. Thus, the government is aiming to expedite some coronavirus inoculation programmes at the community level, including vaccine registration and subsidies up to RM30 for transportation services.
The RM30 subsidy will be given to taxis and e-hailing to cover transportation fares, particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities to go to their respective vaccination centres on their appointment day.