SEBERANG PERAI, June 17 ― Putrajaya aims to vaccinate about two million economic frontliners by September, said Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The international trade and industry minister said, however, that this goal would depend on availability of Covid-19 vaccines and manpower.
“As at quarter one of this year, there are about 2.25 million workers in the manufacturing sector in Malaysia,” he said at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort Covid-19 vaccination centre (PPV) under the Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS).
He said there were 150,000 doses set aside for the launch of PIKAS pilot projects in Selangor, Penang, Johor and Sarawak.
“The 150,000 doses is just the beginning, the vaccine supply will increase in July and August to ensure that all factory workers, local and foreign, will get vaccinated soon,” he said.
He said the reception towards PIKAS has been encouraging with more companies coming forward to apply for onsite PPVs to be set up for their workers.
“Almost 1,200 companies have applied to join PIKAS involving 200,000 workers nationally,” he said.
He said companies with more than 1,000 workers are encouraged to set up on-site PPVs under PIKAS, depending on their available facilities.
“As for small medium enterprises (SME) with between five to 200 workers, they have the option of sending their workers to the common PPVs,” he said.
The Bukit Jawi Golf Resort PPV vaccinated 480 workers yesterday and will be giving out another 480 doses today.
He said the number of doses at the PPV will be ramped up to 1,000 per day by this weekend and 1,500 per day by the end of the month.
He said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has given its assurance that vaccine supplies will increase by July and August.
“The priority of the supplies will be for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme but a portion of it will be set aside for PIKAS,” he said.
He said there is a need to achieve herd immunity among the economic front liners so that the economic sectors can reopen in full by stages.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang has applied for three more PPVs for PIKAS which is pending approval.
He said Penang has a large number of workers in the manufacturing sector and there is a need for more PPVs to vaccinate all of them.
PIKAS was officially launched yesterday by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Azmin said PIKAS will be made available to the rest of the country once more vaccine supplies come in.
“The launch yesterday for the four states is only the pilot, it will be made available to the whole country soon,” he said.
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