300 Clinics Vs 13 Mega PPVs? Decentralise Vaccination Now! — Rajiv Rishyakaran

Bukit Gasing residents have raised their concerns over crowds at MBPJ Civic Hall PPV and are afraid that Covid-19 vaccination there might cause an outbreak.

Walk-in vaccinations at the MBPJ Civic Hall have resulted in people and traffic congestion at Bukit Gasing, and residents have raised their concerns over the issue.

Residents are afraid that this might result in another cluster. This concern is very real, especially when people from all over the Klang Valley are lining up in large numbers to get vaccinated.

The government’s decision to centralise vaccination at 13 mega vaccination centres (PPVs) in the Klang Valley, especially based on inaccurate statistics, is misguided. The recent decision to stop private GPs from administering jabs has also increased the traffic at these 13 PPVs.

I understand that some PPVs should be shut down as the demand has slowed, but it does not justify the discontinuation of vaccinations at private GP clinics. It is truly disappointing.

For the longest time, I have called on the government on allow all GPs to administer vaccines, especially when they are closer to residences, and people would not have to travel far to receive their shots.

Allowing 300 GPs to operate freely also means that residents do not have to queue for hours in order to obtain their jabs. The sense of urgency has been created with the shutdown of multiple PPVs in the Klang Valley.

Allowing private GPs who are interested to administer vaccines will reassure residents that vaccines are readily available. This will not put them in risky situations, e.g. lining up in large numbers at a PPV.

Decentralising the vaccination process also means that undocumented migrant workers will feel safer walking into a clinic they already trust and go to for their medical needs.

The CITF has acknowledged that vaccinating migrant workers poses a challenge, however, mobilising these private clinics will instil a sense of confidence that will encourage them to get vaccinated.

Expecting them to go to a PPV where there are armed officials on duty is not feasible for them. Some might have done so, but we are not aware of how many others who have yet to come forward. Vaccinating everyone is vital, and this is a step in the right direction.

I strongly urge the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) to immediately decentralise the vaccination process, and allow all GPs who want to administer the vaccine to participate in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).

It does not cost us much to equip each clinic with at least one batch of vaccines, even if the sceptics think that there is no need. 

300 Clinics vs 13 PPVs? 300 clinics would certainly make vaccination more accessible.

Let’s make getting the jab easier, and let’s not spread this deadly virus any further by forcing people to congregate at one location.

Rajiv Rishyakaran is state assemblyman for Bukit Gasing.

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