Speed up vaccination rollout, Fed Govt told


THE Penang government has been working well with the respective parties to ensure that the state has sufficient capacity to administer the Covid-19 vaccines.


Rose Charities Malaysia chairman Datuk Lawrence Cheah said the Penang government is well-prepared for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP).


“Many Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs) have been set up in the state. This is to ensure that the total capacity of the PPVs is sufficient.


“However, more needs to be done to make sure that Penang has continuous supply of Covid-19 vaccines from the Federal Government.


“I believe that the Penang government has appealed to the Federal Government many times to ensure that it receives sufficient amount of Covid-19 vaccines.


“At the moment, the vaccination rate in the state is below satisfactory level.


“The vaccination rollout is slow although our PPVs have the capacity to do so.


“There are still many senior citizens who have yet to be vaccinated. Some of them may have registered since February but have yet to be called to receive their vaccine,” he said when contacted today.


It was reported that the total capacity of the active PPVs in Penang has exceeded 30,000 doses per day.


According to the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV), some 47.7% of Penang’s adult population have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 19.4% have gotten two doses as of July 26.


Cheah, who was the former Penang Senior Citizens Association president, said that not all the senior citizens are smart phone savvy.


A file pic of Cheah.


“Some are still using the older version mobile phones which are not smart phones. Besides that, some senior citizens are also concerned about the effects of the Covid-19 vaccines after reading the different versions of news reports.


“There are also senior citizens who are facing transportation problem to go to the respective vaccination centres.


“These are some of the challenges faced by the senior citizens,” he said when questioned.


Cheah said he was very pleased with the assistance from the non-governmental organisations and charity organisations.


“For example, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia and the Lions Club have been marvellous in helping the people during this difficult period,” he said.


Cheah said the spike in new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia is worrying.


He urge the Federal Government to speed up the vaccination rollout to reduce the number of infection.


“It’s like a ‘merry-go-round’ situation. The infection rate increases because the vaccination rate is slow,” he said.


Meanwhile, self-employed Benji Ang said he was surprised by the increase in the total capacity of the active PPVs in Penang, from 15,000 doses a day at the end of June to over 30,000 doses a day currently.




Ang said generally, Penangites have accepted the NIP and he hoped that the vaccination programme would be completed this year.


Reporter Chan Chin Hoo said the vaccination rate in Penang has picked up with the opening of more PPVs.




“Besides the setting up of more public PPVs, the state has also pushed for PPVs to be set up under the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas).


“The outreach programme to vaccinate trishaw riders and taxi drivers in the northeast district has also helped to speed up the vaccination programme in Penang.


“Perhaps the state can continue the outreach programme to vaccinate the hawkers in Penang.


“The hawkers are vulnerable too because they have to deal with various customers,” he said.



Story by Christopher Tan