KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today urged the government to allow the general public, like the industrial vaccination programme, to pay to get earlier Covid-19 shots.
The Bagan MP said that Penang’s Covid-19 vaccine administration rate varies drastically from time to time, noting that the state only administered 3,009 doses on June 27, before increasing to 12,325 doses on June 28.
Under the Public-Private Covid-19 Industrial Immunisation Programme (PIKAS), the government is providing vaccines free of charge, while the employer or the company will bear the operational cost of vaccination.
“Ordinary Malaysians who can afford it are willing to pay the operational cost of RM45 per dose to secure the vaccines free of charge,” Lim said in a statement.
There are two types of Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV) functioning under PIKAS — common-use PPV and on-site PPV.
The RM45 charge per dose covers RM15 vaccine administration payment to ProtectHealth Corporation, a fully-owned company by the Ministry of Health, and RM30 PPV venue payment to PPV operators for common-use PPVs. However, on-site PPVs under PIKAS may charge a different vaccine administration cost.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) yesterday stated that a total of 669,846 workers from 4,537 companies throughout Malaysia have registered under PIKAS as of June 27.
“If companies can get vaccines early to immunise their workers early, including foreign workers, by paying an operational cost of RM45 per dose, then Malaysians should also be given the same opportunity to purchase the vaccines,” Lim added.
The vaccination process for manufacturing workers in Selangor under PIKAS began yesterday.
As of June 25, a total of 186 companies involving 139,851 workers in Penang have registered for Covid-19 vaccines under PIKAS. MITI earlier said that more PPVs will be opened up in the state on June 28. That includes three new PPVS in Bayan Lepas, Penang.
It is to be noted that 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.
As of June 28, about 16.7 per cent of the total Malaysian population have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, or about 5.5 million people.