Saturday, July 17, 2021

Millions of workers to get free vaccines as immunisation drive comes to factories, industrial sites

The Covid-19 immunisation programme enters its fourth phase to ensure private sector workers are vaccinated.

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Tens of thousands of employees in the manufacturing sectors will be given jabs under the fourth phase of the government’s massive Covid-19 vaccination drive known as Pikas, a public-private partnership immunisation programme aimed at private sector employees.

Under the voluntary programme, several ministries will collaborate with the science, technology and innovation ministry to deliver vaccines to workers in their respective sectors.

For its part, the international trade and industry ministry (Miti) announced today that the free vaccination programme will begin on June 16 with on-site vaccination at factories and industrial locations for companies with a minimum of 1,000 employees.

It said priority would be given to companies involved in sectors such as electrical and electronics, food processing, iron and steel, medical devices, personal protective equipment, oil and gas, and rubber products for medical use.

“Employers shall not deduct administration fees paid to private medical general practitioners and for usage of privately run vaccine administration centres from the employee’s salary, including in cases where the employee was no longer employed by the company before full immunisation of the employee,” Miti said in a statement.

The following are frequently asked questions on Pikas, prepared by Miti:

1. What is Pikas?

Pikas is the acronym for Program Imunisasi Industri Covid-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta. It is aimed at employees of companies with which the international trade and industry ministry (Miti) has been tasked to coordinate the immunisation programme for the economic sector. Several other ministries will also be responsible for their respective sectors.

The objective of this public-private programme is to facilitate the government’s efforts to accelerate vaccination for the rakyat and achieve herd immunity by increasing the vaccination uptake among the Malaysian workforce and reducing the number of Covid-19 workplace clusters.

This would protect the well-being of employees and consequently help expedite Malaysia’s economic recovery.

Pikas is a public-private partnership programme supported by the private sector that will provide the usage of worksites, convention and exhibition centres as pusat pemberian vaksin (PPVs) that include the services of medical, non-medical and security personnel.

2. How can I register for Pikas?

Companies can download the application form from the Miti website. The completed form may be submitted by the respective industry associations and business chambers of commerce to [email protected]

3. When can my company register? Is there a deadline for submission?

Registration will commence on June 13, 2021. Companies are required to read the FAQ and terms and conditions of the programme that will be available on the Miti website.

It is a prerequisite for companies to ensure that all of the workers participating in Pikas have registered through MySejahtera for PICK. There is no deadline for Pikas registration.

4. Who can apply for Pikas?

Companies from the manufacturing sector can apply under Pikas. Agriculture, construction, plantation and retail sectors can be referred to the respective ministries as follows:

• Agriculture – Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries
• Construction – Construction Industry Development Board, Ministry of Works
• Plantation – Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities
• Retail – Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs

5. Is the vaccination free?

Vaccines are free. The government through the health ministry will supply the vaccines without cost to the PPVs.

6. How will Pikas be implemented?

Vaccination through Pikas will be implemented through two models.

Model 1 is vaccination at common-use PPVs while Model 2 refers to on-site vaccination within the factory premise or at identified and approved locations.

7. Is vaccination through Pikas mandatory for all employees and employers?

Pikas participation is on a voluntary basis. Companies and employees are encouraged to register for Pikas to help accelerate the immunisation rate of the community.

8. Can the company include dependents of employees in the application?

No, this initiative is strictly for workers and does not extend to dependents, family members or close associates.

9. How will the company and employees be notified if the application is approved?

Appointment information such as the date and location of vaccination will be notified to the employee via MySejahtera and SMS. Company representatives as registered in the application will be notified via email.

10. I have registered to participate in PICK through MySejahtera. What will happen to my application if I choose to participate in Pikas?

It is a prerequisite for employees to register for PICK through MySejahtera before the company registers for Pikas. Employee will be notified via MySejahtera of the vaccination date and PPV location under Pikas.

If the employee has received an earlier vaccination date under PICK, the AstraZeneca opt-in programme or any other programme, the employee will not be vaccinated under Pikas.

11. I have enrolled to take part in other state-organised immunisation programmes. Will this affect my application in Pikas?

The government has assured that anyone who registers for vaccination will be eligible to be vaccinated regardless of the immunisation programme.

12. Can I change the vaccination date under Pikas once it is assigned to me?

You are encouraged to follow the Covid-19 vaccination date as scheduled in MySejahtera. However, if you are unable to participate in the immunisation programme at the given date due to valid circumstances, kindly inform the health ministry at 1-800-888-828 to reschedule the date. Kindly take note, you are only allowed to reschedule the vaccination date once.

13. Can I request a specific type of vaccine to be administered to me?

Types of vaccines given will be identified by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKAV) and based on the location of the PPV.

You must be present at the PPV according to your schedule. You may refuse the type of vaccine to be administered after the registration process at the PPV.

It is important to note that you may only refuse vaccine administration a maximum of two times, after which your name will be removed from the immunisation programme and you will have to re-register in MySejahtera should you wish to participate again in the immunisation programme.

14. Whom should I refer to for further enquiries?

Further enquiries may be directed to [email protected] or Miti’s call centre at 03-62071193/ 03-62071194 (Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm).

MODEL 1: VACCINATION AT COMMON-USE PPVs

15. Who can apply for Model 1?

Any company which is interested in sending its employees for vaccination at the PPV nearest the company’s location.

16. In the event that the employee registered for Pikas leaves the company before full immunisation under Pikas, will the company still be required to bear the cost of the subsequent vaccination?

Companies are required to bear in full the administrative costs for their workers selected to participate in Pikas. Companies should encourage their employees to complete their immunisation requirements in full.

17. Pikas requires companies to pay for the vaccination of its employees. Can the company deduct from its employees’ salary to reimburse the payment?

All costs under this programme must be borne by the company. Employees should not be obliged to pay for the vaccination cost.

18. What if the number of workers present on the vaccination day is less than the number of workers registered?

The payment to PPVs is governed by the contract entered into between the participating company and the PPV operator.

Once a company is notified of the vaccination date, the PPV will make arrangements for the vaccination of the registered number of employees.

It is the responsibility of the employers to ensure that all employees selected for this programme are present on the vaccination day. Companies may replace the workers with other workers scheduled to be vaccinated the following day.

MODEL 2: ON-SITE VACCINATION

19. Can companies choose their own facilities as PPVs?

Yes, companies or groups of companies are allowed to identify suitable facilities for the PPVs. The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) will arrange for the site to be inspected and advise the company accordingly.

A company, or collectively with other companies, will need to have at least 1,000 workers for on-site vaccination. The collective companies will need to identify and prepare a PPV for the vaccination of their employees.

20. What are the conditions for on-site vaccination?

a. At least 1,000 workers have registered.

b. A company may combine with other companies within the same locality to account for the 1,000 employees.

c. Companies with subsidiaries located in different states are not allowed to be grouped together in one PPV as no interstate movement is permitted.

21. What happens to the vaccines that are brought to the on-site PPV location in the event that there are not enough workers to be vaccinated on that day?

The number of doses to be administered for the day will be according to the number of workers registered for vaccination. If, however, the number of workers scheduled to be vaccinated on that day falls short, companies may replace the workers with other workers scheduled to be vaccinated the following day.

22. What are the criteria for setting up an on-site PPV?

a. Able to accommodate up to 1,000 people per day;

b. Ample space to accommodate five main stations, namely screening, registration, consultation, vaccination and monitoring. The proposed layout is as shown below:

c. Able to accommodate an ambulance for emergency purposes as recommended by CITF; and

d. Approved by CITF and Miti following on-site inspection.

The number of vaccines administered at the PPV will be subject to availability and the number of medical officers assigned at the on-site PPV.

23. As the company representative, I received confirmation via email that my company’s application for vaccination at the selected Pikas PPV has been approved. What arrangements should my company make?

Once informed of the date of vaccination, companies are required to make the following arrangements:

a. Confirm company’s participation to the assigned Pikas PPV venue operator;

b. Formalise agreement with Pikas PPV venue operator – submit the signed agreement to the venue operator prior to the first vaccination date;

c. Make full payment to the Pikas PPV venue operator at least five working days before the vaccination date; and

d. Arrange the necessary logistics for the workers to and from the Pikas PPV.

24. What is the administration cost under Model 1 and Model 2?

The government provides free vaccines to employees for both Model 1 and 2 under Pikas. The breakdown of the estimated administration cost per dose per worker is as follows:

No. Item PPV On-site
1. Vaccine Free Free
2. Vaccine administration cost to ProtectHealth RM15 RM15
3. PPV venue cost RM30 Contingent on on-site venue preparation cost which will differ based on size, layout and other costs to set up the venue
Total (per dose per worker) RM45 RM15 + PPV preparation cost

 

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