GEORGE TOWN: The faster delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to Malaysia starting next month will be crucial to help the country reach herd immunity, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He said vaccination centres in the state had not been operating at optimum level due to a lack of vaccine supplies in the past few weeks.
“With 150,000 doses to be made available daily, the state Health Department can ramp up its operations to allow more people to get vaccinated.
“The people are disappointed at not being vaccinated and we must act fast to achieve herd immunity in order to protect the people, ” he said.
Earlier, National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin pledged that there would be faster delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to Malaysia soon, with 150,000 shots to be administered daily beginning next month.
Chow welcomed the move, saying it was a good decision that could reach and protect more people during this crucial phase.
State health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said it was important for everyone to get vaccinated in a quick and cost-effective way.
“It is great to learn that more vaccines are on the way. But it would be even better if we could have mobile vaccination centres in rural areas as it is difficult for many in these places to travel and get their doses.
“Many clinics can come on board and vaccinate people who are registered in those areas. This will speed things up as well as increase the number of people getting vaccinated.
“We can have multiple locations rather than the handful that we have right now, ” she said, adding that overcrowding at vaccination centres could create new clusters.
Rose Charities president Datuk Lawrence Cheah said it would be good for the vaccines to be dispersed quickly as many senior citizens had yet to be vaccinated.
“Most of our members who are aged between 40 and 90 have not been vaccinated. They are susceptible to the virus due to their health and age, ” he said.
Cheah, 78, said he just got his second dose in mid-May but his wife, who is three years younger, had yet to be given a date for her first dose.
“I am worried looking at the increasing number of Covid-19 cases daily. The only way to protect everyone is to vaccinate them.
“Many people are frustrated by the wait and, hopefully, it will make a difference with more vaccines available, ” he added.