Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin must be clear as to when in June the government can achieve a daily vaccination rate of 150,000 doses per day, said former minister Yeo Bee Yin.
The Bakri MP also asked her counterpart from Rembau to clarify whether 150,000 vaccinations per day would be the maximum or average vaccinate rate.
This after Khairy, in his capacity as National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister said Health Minister Dr Adham Baba had signed a deal for 12.8 million Pfizer doses on May 21, raising the total size of Malaysia’s order to 44.8 million doses and allowing it to target administering 150,000 injections per day in June.
In a statement today, Yeo urged Khairy to push for more than that.
"With skyrocketing infection rates, vaccination rates should increase beyond 150,000 doses per day by involving private general partitioners and government clinics nationwide.
The government should simplify the registration and recordkeeping system of Covid-19 vaccination instead of over-relying on MySejahtera and the current management system, she said.
"Based on the previous estimation of supply and demand curve by the government, our cumulative vaccine administered should be at around six million by now (assuming 80 percent usage rate of the total supply of about eight million by the end of May).
However, due to the hiccups in getting vaccine supply, as of May 27, 2021, only 2.7 million doses have been administered - 1,725,364 first dose and 987,012 second dose, which is about 63 percent and 37 percent of total vaccines administered respectively.
"In terms of percentage of the population, only 5.4 percent and three percent of the population have received at least the first dose and been fully vaccinated respectively.
Yeo claimed that based on these figures should have been at 12 percent and seven percent by now.
She also queried Khairy on the cost of the delay of our vaccination rollout.
"Maybe we can look into US case study and the impact of vaccination toward the number positive cases (the US has a similar ratio of first and second dose distribution as us).
"Between roughly 5.4 percent (first) and three percent (second) vaccination rate and 12 percent and seven percent is more than a 40 percent drop in positive cases!" she claimed.
She conceded that it was not possible to compare directly as there are other factors involved such as the movement of the people.
"However, what we can conclude is that the delay in our vaccination rollout has a significant impact on the number of positive cases every day.
"More than 1,000 people have died from Covid in just May alone.
"If our vaccination rollout were to run as what the government has previously planned, these people did not necessarily need to die!
"Therefore, I would like to seek clarification from Khairy about his announcement of the government plan to ramp up the daily vaccination rate to 150,000 doses per day.
"Is it by June 1, mid-June or end of June? This is because delay in weeks can be a matter of life and death to hundreds of Malaysians.
"I would also like to know whether the 150,000 doses per day target is the maximum daily vaccination rate or the average? This is because I’ve noticed that the government tends to announce daily vaccination rate on the days when it was high instead of giving seven days average so to paint a better picture than the reality on the ground," she added.
She called on Khairy to admit that the RM70 million MySejahtera and vaccination rollout management system are incapable of coping with a higher vaccination rate.
"Even at the current vaccination rate, MySejahtera is already making errors in appointment arrangement, and the hotline is always down.
"Moving forward, we need a simpler system for registration and recordkeeping, perhaps a decentralised one," she said.
Yeo called for doctors in both private and public hospitals to be able to register their patients with comorbidities, request vaccine supplies from the government and administer them accordingly.
"Then we can at least ensure the vulnerable groups are vaccinated, instead of just waiting for MySejahtera to finally get it right," added Yeo.
In another statement, former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching questioned why the teachers, who are part of the Phase 2 of the NIP, have yet to receive their vaccines.
“When will the teachers get their vaccines as Khairy promised in March that they would be prioritised in Phase 2? And is the delay because Malaysia did not receive the number of vaccines we targeted in May?
“We demand to know how many teachers are vaccinated as I have received many complaints from the teachers that they are still waiting for their vaccine,” she said in a statement today.
“Teachers are not the only professions who are still waiting for their vaccine. Even though they were promised that they would be given priority in Phase 2 in April, journalists until today have yet to receive their vaccine too,” added Teo.
“JKJAV said Malaysia should receive at least 4 million doses of vaccine in May. But the health minister said Malaysia would be receiving 3.52 million doses of vaccines from three suppliers namely Pfizer-BioNtech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca this month.
“A quick search suggested that we only receive around 2.1 million doses of vaccine in May,” pointed out Teo.
“How much vaccine did we actually receive in May? Despite being asked by many parties, we do not seem to know how much vaccine we currently possess,” she said.
Malaysians deserve to know the amount of vaccines the country currently possesses and if we have received the expected amount, said Teo.