KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — The DAP assemblyman for Bukit Gasing, Rajiv Rishyakaran, has urged the government to reconsider its decision to push for “super large” Covid-19 vaccination centres.
Rajiv said the minister in charge of the matter, Khairy Jamaluddin, should instead focus on bringing Covid-19 vaccines to the people in a more convenient manner.
“Establishing one mega vaccination centre will be inconvenient specifically for the bottom 40 (B40) group without their own transport.
“If mega vaccination centres are set up, even assuming one in each district or state, then there will be a lot of travelling for this group.
“This is especially harder in states where public transport is not an option like it is in the Klang Valley, this may result in highly burdening them with expensive travelling fees,” he said in a statement today.
His comments come after Khairy, who is the minister of science, technology and innovation, announced that the government intended to establish mega vaccination centres during the third phase of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Rajiv suggested that Khairy should be aiming to set up more centres on a smaller scale almost equidistantly so that, on average, everyone would travel the same distance to receive their Covid-19 shots.
“Setting up many small centres would also satisfy the objective of vaccinating more people while ensuring social distancing is in place without straining the people,” he added.
He also pointed out that mega vaccination centres would also require a lot of walking between the arrival and vaccination points.
“It is apparent when I went to receive my shot in the Sunway Convention Centre, from where I had parked my car to where I eventually received my shot.
“This would be a huge hassle to senior citizens and the differently abled community with mobility difficulties,” he said.
At the same time, Rajiv said the decision to rent fancy convention centres to accommodate such large-scale vaccination plans would be a poor use of resources.
“Using government resources to rent these expensive locations instead of using already existing government buildings like the halls that belong to local councils (or) the local klinik kesihatan, raises a question of how much the ministry is paying attention to how they are spending the taxpayer’s money,” he said.
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