PENANG is confident that 100% of its adult population would have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the first week of September.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang government would strive to achieve the target by expediting vaccination efforts at the Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs), including the mobile outreach PPV.
“We are happy to note that, according to the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV), 70% of Penang’s adult population would have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of today (Aug 15).
“The adults who have yet to get their first dose are expected to receive Dose One within three weeks.
“The intended period to complete the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) in Penang is in line with the national target,” Chow told a press conference after visiting the Penang Covid-19 mass screening (PSC-19) programme at Batu Kawan Stadium today.
Chow said Penang also focused on other public health initiatives besides vaccination.
“Other public health initiatives, such as finding, testing, tracing, treatment, isolation and support, are equally important to control the spread of Covid-19.
“Meanwhile, the political crisis at the Federal level must not affect the immunisation programme or other public health initiatives for the people,” he said.
On a separate matter, Chow reiterated that the Penang Health Department had announced the shutdown of four public PPVs in Penang today (Aug 15).
“The four public PPVs, namely, the Balik Pulau Sports Complex, Bayan Baru Community Hall, Pesta site and the Dewan Millenium, are closed today (Aug 15).
“The Penang Health Department has made the announcement that the shutdown was due the disruption of the Pfizer vaccine supply (beginning Aug 12) to Penang. It is understood that the disruption involved some 20,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine.
“Those who are affected by the disruption have been notified and given a new date to receive their vaccine via the MySejahtera app,” he said.
The announcement by the Penang Health Department can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/591214790951651/posts/5919455908127486/?d=n
Chow said the PPVs in several private hospitals and clinics would also be temporarily affected to overcome the supply disruption of the Pfizer vaccine.
“The disruption is only temporary and will not affect the overall NIP in Penang,” he said.
On Aug 12, Chow had briefly mentioned that several private companies with on-site PPVs that are part of the Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pikas) and private hospitals, would face delays in the delivery of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine due to some issues experienced abroad.
“Because of this, the involved companies and hospitals would need to reschedule their appointment dates,” he said.
Penang Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo urged the Federal Government to expedite vaccination for local council frontliners, hawkers and food handlers.
On the PSC-19 programme, Jagdeep said a total of 32,146 people have been screened as of yesterday (Aug 14). The programme started on July 5 and has been held at 38 locations as of yesterday (Aug 14).
“A total of 1,850 have been found Covid-19 positive via the Rapid Test Kit Antigen (RTK-Ag), and subsequently, 935 were found to be positive after the RT-PCR test.
“The PSC-19 programme will be held in another four locations, in Jawi (Aug 20), Permatang Pasir (Aug 21), Pinang Tunggal (Aug 21) and Seberang Jaya (Aug 22),” he said.
Those who wished to register for the free Covid-19 screening can visit https://penangsaring.selangkah.my
Jagdeep added that 178 senior citizens at three homes for the elderly had been screened on Aug 13 and 14.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar
Video by Ahmad Adil Muhamad