KUALA LUMPUR, August 24 — Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud revealed today that private health care facilities were supposed to remain under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) as part of the federal government’s list of long-term vaccination centres (PPVs).
The Selangor state executive councillor for public health said the state was informed by the central administration of the progressive closures of PPVs, particularly those with low traffic, but claimed that this did not include private clinics.
“As far as I was informed, from past meetings with the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), the plan was to close some PPVs that have seen declines in footfall as new PPVs with walk-ins are being prepared for the long-term.
“But the plan included private clinics. That was supposed to ensure PICK’s continuity in the long run,” Dr Siti Mariah told the Selangor state legislative assembly sitting today.
The Seri Serdang assemblywoman said, however, that clinics under the SelCare state health care provider will continue to provide vaccination for the state’s Selvax coronavirus vaccination programme.
CodeBlue previously reported that the federal government will no longer schedule Covid-19 vaccination appointments in private health care facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor from August 23 under PICK.
CITF said in a statement Sunday that most PPVs in the Klang Valley, including vaccine centres in GP clinics, were being shuttered this month due to the success of Operation Surge Capacity and that private GP clinics may be recruited in future for booster vaccine or teen vaccination programmes.
Bukit Gasing state assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, in response to Dr Siti Mariah’s statement in the state legislative assembly sitting, said with just 13 mega PPVs available in the Klang Valley, traffic has increased at these existing PPVs as people line up as early as 6am to get vaccinated.
“This morning I was at the MBPJ Civic Hall. By 9am, the 600 walk-in slots they had for the day were all taken up. A lot of people waited in line from 6am to get the vaccine. It goes to show how desperate they are to get inoculated. We need to increase capacity, not the opposite,” he said.
Dr Mariah said the Selangor state government will make requests to the federal government for certain PPVs to be continued.
“We have to choose which PPV. That means we cannot also expect all PPVs to be within close reach, so this is where state assemblymen like your good selves can help those who need to be transported,” she said.
According to Dr Mariah, Selangor will launch a mobile vaccination team next month to ensure that unvaccinated groups and communities will be inoculated.
Based on federal statistics, the Klang Valley (Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya) currently leads in terms of total population that has received at least a single dose. As of yesterday, 80 per cent of Klang Valley’s total population has received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, while 62.3 per cent are fully vaccinated.
However, some Selangor lawmakers like Klang MP Charles Santiago have disputed statistics on vaccination coverage, noting that the actual population in large districts like Klang is larger than official figures.