The Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) refers to the recent announcement by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Covid-19 booster vaccine shots for high-risk groups and frontliners.
It is our sincere hope that community pharmacists who are frontliners in the private health care sector be listed in the primary list for booster shots, alongside general practitioners.
Furthermore, with more vaccination centres (PPVs) being closed as Malaysia exceeds the landmark 80 per cent vaccination rate, it is high time that the government includes community pharmacists to be part of the vaccination team to ensure that Covid-19 booster shots remain accessible to the public.
MPS, in partnership with Universiti Sains Malaysia, has developed the Certified Training Programme on Immunisation for Pharmacists (CTPIP) to ensure that community pharmacists are trained adequately to administer vaccines. Vaccine administration is not rocket science after all.
MPS also notes that the National Security Council has authorised the use of Covid-19 saliva test kits by travellers bound for Labuan. This is great news for travellers, as the self-test kits are much more affordable compared to RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swabs, and are readily accessible for the public to purchase at community pharmacies.
However, according to the latest SOPs, as of September 21, 2021, only registered private medical practitioners as well as health officers from the Ministry of Health have the authority to endorse the results of the saliva test kits.
Therefore, MPS would like to urge the government to allow community pharmacists to be able to authorise the saliva self-test kits as well, for the convenience of travellers. Community pharmacists are the most easily accessible health care providers, and certainly more than qualified to interpret the results.
Last but not least, with regard to the health minister’s comment that the sales of test kits should be more liberalised, MPS is of the belief that suppliers should print or provide a QR code on the packaging of the test kits. which can link to instructional videos and infographics in multiple languages, for the convenience of the public.
Amrahi Buang is the president of the Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS).
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