KUALA LUMPUR (May 19): Only about 3% of the population in Selangor has been vaccinated against Covid-19, and this is behind other states and federal territories in Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Melaka, Pahang, and Perlis, lamented Selangor Public Health, Unity, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud.
As such, in order to speed up the inoculation process in the state, Siti Mariah said the Selangor state government had initiated the Selgate Covid-19 vaccination programme, including opening it up for private companies to buy vaccines to be administered to their workers.
"Actually we encourage everyone to register through MySejahtera to get the free vaccine, but the industry players have told us that they cannot wait a long time to get the vaccine.
"We know that the employers are willing to buy the vaccine because they want it fast. They may be the last to receive [under the national vaccination programme] so if there [are] any infections [in their premises], the factories will have to be closed, and every time they close it is a huge loss to them and also to the rakyat," she told a press conference today.
However, Siti Mariah did not disclose how and which of the vaccines will be sourced but maintained that it will be either of the three that has been approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) — Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Sinovac.
Selangor has mandated Selgate Healthcare Sdn Bhd to handle matters pertaining to acquiring the vaccines.
At the moment, she said the discussions for the Selgate vaccination programme are in the final stages and that Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari will announce the details of the programme early next week, including the price of the vaccines.
Siti Mariah noted that so far there are more than 3,500 companies that have already expressed their interest to purchase the vaccines from the state government, covering over one million employees.
She added that the state initially ordered for 2.5 million doses of the vaccine to inoculate 1.25 million of its citizens, but is ready and willing to purchase more according to the needs of the people.
The priority, she stressed, remains for high-risk individuals and vulnerable groups, including the elderly in nursing homes, the disabled, dialysis centres as well as other marginalised groups, such as the Orang Asal.