Covid-19: Vaccination is not open heart surgery, allow more to do it, urge health experts


PETALING JAYA: Health experts are urging the government to speed up the immunisation process for Malaysians by using more health facilities as vaccination centres.

Public Health Physicians president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said the government could rope in public universities and university teaching hospitals as vaccination centres (PPV).

“Any PPV that is near, easy to access and within (reach of) the community should be encouraged,” he said on Wednesday (June 2).

He said with more vaccines due to arrive this month, authorities need to work in tandem with each other and move into high gear to ensure that as many Malaysians as possible get their first jab.

He also said the supply of vaccines must be adequate and properly distributed to all states and areas.

“Millions of people have registered and have been waiting for months. Vaccination is not open heart surgery or sending people to the moon.

“Less talking, they should just do it,” he added.

Dr Zainal Ariffin was commenting on the government’s move to form a special team to identify public universities and university teaching hospitals to be PPVs.

Public health expert Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said it was a great idea to have more PPVs for the people to be vaccinated.

“Great idea, just do it. The faster they do it, the better,” said the former deputy health director-general.

Universiti Malaya professor of occupational and public health Prof Dr Victor Hoe said any effort to increase the pace of vaccination would be good.

He also suggested certain criteria be fulfilled when identifying possible vaccination centres.

“The centres should have good connectivity and adequate parking as well as enough space so there is no overcrowding.

“The ventilation system in these centres should be good for fresh air to circulate and contaminants removed regularly,” he said.

He said PPV in teaching hospitals would be good for those with co-morbidity who could not be vaccinated at community centres.

“In university teaching hospitals, there should be a separate flow for patients and people coming in for vaccination,” he said.

Dr Hoe also said planning and manpower could be an issue if more large-scale PPVs are set up.

“More healthcare workers are needed to work in these centres.

“It would be better to engage our 7,000 general practitioners and family physician clinics to assist in the delivery of the vaccine.

“GP clinics are located throughout Malaysia and are close to the community that they serve.

“Doctors in these clinics will be the best person to advise and deliver the vaccine to their patients,” he said.

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