Penang assemblyman calls on Putrajaya to reveal full Covid-19 vaccination programme

Opalyn Mok
·3-min read
Bukit Tengah assemblyman Gooi Hsiao Leung speaks to reporters at the State Assembly building in George Town August 8, 2018. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Bukit Tengah assemblyman Gooi Hsiao Leung speaks to reporters at the State Assembly building in George Town August 8, 2018. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 — Bukit Tengah assemblyman Gooi Hsiao Leung is calling on Putrajaya to reveal the full Covid-19 national vaccination programme for 80 per cent of the population or 27 million Malaysians.

He said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has given his assurance that 80 per cent of the population will be vaccinated over a period of 12 months from March but did not reveal details of the vaccination schedule.

“The country’s vaccination programme is of huge national interest and importance, and the prime minister owes a duty to the public to lay out its full plan on how the government intends to fulfil its promise to vaccinate 27 million people in 12 months,” Gooi said in a statement today.

The Penang lawmaker asked if the national vaccination programme had been finalised and presented to the Cabinet for approval.

He said if the target was to vaccinate 27 million people in 12 months, the government would need to vaccinate an average of 2.25 million people every month from March.

“Do we have confirmed delivery dates and the quantities of all the vaccines we need to vaccinate 2.25 million people a month?” he asked.

Gooi said the only confirmed timeline for vaccine delivery in Malaysia is the staggered delivery of 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which will only be sufficient to fully vaccinate 6.4 million people.

He said the government will need to obtain 54 million doses to carry out two million vaccinations a month to reach the target of 27 million within a year.

“Without confirmed delivery dates of the exact quantities of other vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Sinovac to Malaysia, how will the government be able successfully achieve its promise to vaccinate 27 million people in one year?” he asked.

Gooi referred to an announcement by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba that 500,000 frontliners will receive the first dose of the vaccination in the first quarter.

He asked if this meant that the rest of the general population, especially those considered high risk, will have to wait for the second batch of the Pfizer vaccine to be delivered in the second quarter of the year.

He reminded Putrajaya that its promise to vaccinate 27 million Malaysians within a year will be the biggest vaccination exercise in the country’s history undertaken by the government.

He said it will require an unparalleled and massive undertaking to set up vaccination centres all over the country with thousands of trained personnel to effectively roll out the programme.

“The prime minister cannot merely expect the people to place full confidence and blind hope in the government on his bare assurance alone that 80 per cent of the country’s population will be vaccinated within one year without any specific details,” he said.

Gooi said it is important for the government to make public its detailed vaccination plan without delay.

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