Government Ends PICK In Klang Valley Private Clinics, Hospitals

By Boo Su-Lyn |

CITF will no longer give first-dose and second-dose appointments to Covid-19 vaccination centres in GP clinics, specialist clinics, private hospitals, and ambulatory care centres across Selangor and KL from August 23.

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KUALA LUMPUR, August 20 — The government will no longer schedule Covid-19 vaccination appointments in private health care facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor from August 23 under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).

ProtectHealth Corporation — which manages private medical practitioners administering Covid-19 jabs under PICK — cited a decision by the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) to no longer give first-dose and second-dose appointments at vaccination centres (PPVs) in general practitioner clinics (PPVGP), specialist clinics (PPVKP), private hospitals (PPVHS), and ambulatory care centres (PPVACC) from next Monday onwards.

“Any appointments after this date will be reassigned by MySejahtera to another location,” ProtectHealth said in an email to private medical practitioners yesterday, as sighted by CodeBlue.

“As you might be aware, the implementation of Operation Surge Capacity in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor between July 23 to August 1 has achieved its objective of giving at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine to all registered adults.”

The termination of PICK across all private health care facilities comes after CITF instructed the closure of 29 PPVs in Selangor from the rest of this month until the end of September, as reported by Malaysiakini. Most of these PPVs are community halls, including a few mega PPVs.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said yesterday that 98 per cent of Selangor residents have received their first jab, after segregating data between Selangor residents who got their jabs in Selangor PPVs and those who received their shots in Kuala Lumpur PPVs.

This means that there is still a minority of people living in Selangor who have yet to be vaccinated, including undocumented migrant workers.

Based on official CITF statistics, about 74 per cent of the adult population in the Klang Valley have been fully vaccinated, leaving about a quarter of adult residents yet to receive their second jab.

About 78 per cent of Klang Valley’s total population has received at least one dose, including 54 per cent who are fully inoculated. 

ProtectHealth requested private medical practitioners participating in PICK to complete a few forms on the closure and to communicate with their Pusat Simpanan Vaksin (PSV) should there be a requirement to return vaccines.

“As communicated earlier, there might be a need for future vaccination as there will be new eligible vaccinees and potential additional booster dose. However this is still under deliberation and once finalised vaccination operations will recommence and we will reach out for further details,” said ProtectHealth. 

In a separate email, ProtectHealth told private medical practitioners yesterday that the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) has decided to prohibit medical facilities — which procure coronavirus vaccines on their own or from state governments — from participating in PICK.

“In addition, privately purchased vaccine should also not be using access provided by ProtectHealth in using MyVAS and VMS system. The access provided by ProtectHealth shall ONLY be used for government procured vaccine under PICK. It is a misuse if the system access is used for private purchased vaccine,” said ProtectHealth.

“ProtectHealth Partners that are planning to administer privately purchased vaccine shall inform ProtectHealth immediately at [email protected] You should also be using separate access to MyVAS and VMS for private purchased vaccine and should inform respective system owners for such purpose.”

Sinovac and Moderna coronavirus vaccines have been opened for procurement in the private market. The Selangor state government is also running its own state vaccination programme, Selvax, using Sinovac.

A manual from Antah Pharma Sdn Bhd, which is retailing Sinovac in the private market, states that people are not eligible for the private Covid-19 vaccination programme if they have already received their first dose, or if they have received a date for their first jab but did not cancel their appointment on MySejahtera.

Only people who have registered for Covid-19 inoculation but not yet received an appointment date, or those who have not registered yet for jabs, are eligible to get shots in the private vaccination programme, according to Antah Pharma’s manual as sighted by CodeBlue. 

When contacted, ProtectHealth CEO Anas Alam Faizli referred CodeBlue to CITF. CodeBlue has contacted the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s (MOSTI) corporate communications unit for comment.

Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations, Malaysia (FPMPAM) president Dr Steven Chow questioned the shuttering of PPVs in GP clinics and private hospitals.

“It is pertinent to ask why the doctors and their patients have to endure this inconvenience when it was the original intention of the government to co-opt the GPs into the NIP for the efficiency and the convenience of the public,” Dr Chow told CodeBlue.

The MOH (Ministry of Health) have a very myopic view. Soon they will have to re-escalate for a booster dose vaccination as the post vaccine surge will be upon us. This is the experience other countries are facing.”

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