KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The Selangor administration targets inoculating 80 per cent of the state’s adult population with Covid-19 vaccines by end October, two months behind the August target for Selangor set by the federal government.
Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari, who launched today the state’s own Covid-19 vaccination drive called Selangor Vaccination Programme (SELVAX), stated that the October goal could be achieved from the state rollout coupled with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) that is also supplying Selangor with coronavirus shots.
“Based on the current rate, the national vaccination process is estimated to be completed only by early December this year, with a proportion of people only completing two vaccine doses on February 8, 2022,” Amirudin said today at the launch of SELVAX that was broadcast live on Facebook.
“This initiative will increase vaccine administration capacity and significantly shorten the time period by about 100 days earlier with a vaccination target of 80 per cent of the adult population in Selangor by October 2021,” the MB added, referring to the SELVAX initiative.
It is unknown where Amirudin got the February 8 date from, as the federal government has publicly maintained that PICK can be completed by year end with full inoculation of 80 per cent of the population.
Although Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has set December to complete PICK, he has set varying targets for different states, saying last Thursday that he aimed to finish inoculating 80 per cent of adults in Selangor, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya by the end of August, after Labuan in July.
The federal government also plans to deliver 4,008,710 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Selangor next month, amounting to about 61 doses per 100 people, the fifth highest in the country on a per capita basis that exceeds the national rate of about 43 doses per 100 people.
The huge shipment enables the state to vaccinate 40 per cent of its total population, or 53 per cent of its adult population, by end July, assuming all doses can be injected into arms.
The state government of Selangor — the country’s most populous and developed state — has ordered 2.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine from its sole local distributor Pharmaniaga Sdn Bhd, which is also supplying the federal PICK, in order to vaccinate 1.25 million people among the state’s 6.5 million population.
The state government’s vaccination drive will see 500,000 doses distributed for free to 250,000 primary recipients identified by the state under the SELVAX community initiative.
Those being considered include high-risk groups, such as the elderly, people who belong to the bottom 40 per cent income group, recipients of the Peduli Rakyat Initiative (IPR) Mesra Usia Emas scheme (SMUE), Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor (KISS), Peduli Sihat scheme, and other essential groups who need the vaccine.
The state also has allocated two million doses from its 2.5 million order to the industrial SELVAX programme for industry workers, including foreign workers from various sectors in Selangor.
Amirudin said last month, 91 per cent of Covid-19 clusters in Selangor stemmed from the workplace, comprising 80 per cent from manufacturing and 11 per cent from construction, amounting to a total of 125 clusters from these two sectors.
“By giving vaccines to factory and industrial workers, we can control and reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission and that will indirectly protect us all.
“Under SELVAX, the state is increasing an additional 43,500 doses of daily vaccine administration rate through 26 vaccination centres, community halls, mobile vaccine services, health clinics and private hospitals,” said Amirudin.
No charges will be imposed on employees to receive vaccines under the industrial SELVAX programme, although Amirudin did not state how much employers would be charged for vaccinating their workers.
This initiative fulfils Khairy’s estimated projection for Selangor to administer 135,000 doses per day in August and 165,000 daily doses by August, Amirudin added.
“With that, the state government is targeting up to 181,000 doses for SELVAX Community recipients for free by the end of July 2021.
Amiruddin stated that 83.42 per cent or 3,979,716 of Selangor residents have registered for Covid-19 vaccines, whereas only 851,118 individuals have received at least the first dose of vaccine, including 270,221 who completed vaccination.
Finally, the Selangor MB, who acknowledged widespread Covid-19 transmission with new variants, also noted that SELVAX is able to provide booster shots if the state needs them in the future or if there is another wave of the epidemic.
“We must be prepared to face a transition from a pandemic phase to endemic like familiarising ourselves with self-care until vaccination rates in other states, our country, neighboring countries and all over the world reach a level to prevent the spread of this virus from continuing,” he said.
An endemic disease is one that is constantly present in a population.
“Remember, vaccines are just a preventive measure. Keep wearing face masks, maintain the distance and always wash your hands, even if you have been vaccinated. We are only safe until the people around us, including family and friends, finish receiving the vaccine.”
Correction note: The Menteri Besar’s office corrected Amirudin’s statement on Covid-19 cases in Selangor — the MB‘s 91 per cent figure was in reference to clusters, not cases. The statistic also referred to the month of June. CodeBlue has amended the 13th paragraph accordingly.