Khairy: Industries under Pikas volunteered to absorb operational cost, initiative not to make profit

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Minister of Science Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin visits the Covid-19 vaccination centre in Bukit Jalil June 21, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Minister of Science Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin visits the Covid-19 vaccination centre in Bukit Jalil June 21, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Industries under the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) volunteered to absorb the operation cost of the programme to help the government, Science, Technology and Innovation minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

In the weekly Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) press conference today, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister stressed that the initiative is also not a profit-making programme for the government.

“We are not forcing industries to participate but because of my engagements with industry players, they came forward to say that they want to help the government accelerate and also shoulder and support the cause. So we are not forcing them.

“The government is providing the vaccines free of charge and the employer or the company bears the operational cost of the vaccination charge by ProtectHealth and this is not a profit making exercise,” he said.

ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd (ProtectHealth) was set up under the Ministry of Health (MOH) on December 19, 2016 and is a non-profit company which coordinates, administers and manages initiatives related to financing healthcare services.

In the press conference today, Khairy was asked as to why industries were being charged for the vaccination programme.

“The charges that we impose are kept to a minimum, so that it is not burdensome to the industries. So we feel that because it is a voluntary exercise where industries have come forward to say; We want to immunise, vaccinate our workers as quickly as possible, as this in is line with the MOH’s guideline of pandemic control, in light of the fact that many new clusters are workplace clusters,” he added.

Khairy said that the industries “are willing and able and happy to assist the government” by absorbing the operational cost of Pikas.

“So, while the government of course has the budget to roll out the NIP (National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme), we welcome this contribution from the private sector, so that we can use the budget for NIP, for the rollout for the population,” he added.

On June 12, the government introduced Pikas to cater for the manufacturing sector, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti).

Miti said Pikas will be launched as “Phase Four” of the NIP, adding that participation would be voluntary for companies and employees.

The Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Guarantee (JKJAV) previously announced that the NIP would have three phases, including the already-delayed Phase Three meant for the general adult population.

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