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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, May 17: The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) have been urged to set up more vaccination centers (PPVs) based on a ‘zone system’ to cover a wider population and reduce congestion.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen proposed for a single district to have multiple PPVs so that it would be more convenient in terms of shorter waiting times and travelling times for the targeted group.
“Currently, it is not convenient for the government to expect elderly people, many with chronic diseases and comorbidities to travel far to the stadium, and to wait up to two to three hours for their vaccination. Such inconvenience may hinder more elderly people who are at high risk to develop severe symptoms or even face death from turning up to their vaccination appointments,” he said in a statement today.
He further suggested that places like a common hall, community hall and open basketball court in each zone can be converted into a PPV that will cater to the surrounding residents.
“The data of the people especially those covered in Phase 2 (of national Immunisation programme) can be obtained through government hospitals or clinics’ records especially of those living in the area. Currently, the government clinics have already implement a system to cover a certain zone, and they can be put in-charge of handling that particular zone.
“This is important especially when more and more vaccine supplies coming in including the purported 1 million Sinovac vaccine purchased by the State government and also the need for us to accelerate the vaccination rate to cover especially the high-risk groups as soon as possible,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Yii also said in setting up these PPVs, the federal government can work with the state government to mobilise more man power from both federal and state public service, the private sector, last-year medical students, newly graduated medical doctors, university students and so on.
He also called for the government to set up mobile vaccination teams to go into elderly nursing homes and provide direct vaccination for bed-ridden elderly and persons with special needs (OKUs),
“Based on the government’s budget which was taken from the National Trust Fund (KWAN), a whopping RM333 million was allocated for utility and rental, over RM 200 million was allocated for volunteers alone, with a possible RM110 million in contingency. Such funds should be efficiently utilised for the purpose to remove any obstacle for the public especially elderly and OKUs to get their vaccination,” he pointed out.
Dr Yii also highlighted that the government should improve the official JKJAC Hotline as the members of public had expressed difficulty to call in and make changes to appointment time and date due to frequent connection cut-offs.
“Due to that sort of problem, many of the elderly who were unsure end up not turning up for their vaccination appointment as they were unable to obtain required information from the hotline.
“We are made to understand that such services were outsourced by the government to a third-party, but it is their responsibility to monitor to make sure quality is constantly being uphold.
“That is why I urge the government to improve such services and implement a more targeted ‘zone system’ for PPVs all around the country to help increase our vaccination rate and also make it more convenient for the public to avoid dropout and wastage,” he added. — DayakDaily