Friday, July 16, 2021

Focus on vaccinations, not screenings, Selangor govt told

Selangor National Community Mobilisation secretary Muhamad Shazlee Muhamad Nazlee says this is one among several suggestions to improve the state's Selvax programme.

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Selangor National Community Mobilisation secretary Muhamad Shazlee Muhamad Nazlee has urged the state government to improve its vaccination programme Selvax, following reports of confusion among recipients and questions over the cost of jabs compared to those given under the national immunisation drive.

In a statement, he noted the recent focus on mass screenings in the state but called for the administration of vaccine to be prioritised instead.

“This is because the costs of vaccination and conducting screening tests are almost the same,” Shazlee said.

“The Selangor government shouldn’t be wasting the people’s money on screening programmes when giving vaccines is the better step to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection.”

He also noted complaints raised on social media on July 1 and 2 by residents in Lembah Jaya about the lack of notice given when the vaccination programme was postponed, and confusion among others who said they were given more than one vaccination appointment on different dates, one through Selvax and another through Putrajaya’s MySejahtera app for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“Still others say they do not know about developments in the Selvax programme because these are not made public on the official social media of the Selangor Covid-19 task force.”

Urging the state government to address these issues, he compared the rollout of Selvax to the vaccination campaign in Penang.

“If the government of Penang, which is also administered by the opposition, can administer vaccines quickly and in an orderly manner with the full cooperation of the federal government, why not in Selangor?”

He said he believed that through more systematic management, this would not be a problem.

“What is important is for the Selangor government to set aside its political differences and make the health of its people the main focus in its administration today.”

Shazlee’s comments follow other questions raised over the cost of vaccines for industrial workers which, under the Pikas programme launched by the international trade and industry ministry, costs RM45 per worker.

Under Selvax, meanwhile, the cost of fully inoculating one worker is RM350.

State assemblyman Haniza Talha on Saturday urged Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari to review the charges, saying they were too high and would slow down efforts to reach herd immunity in Selangor.

Haniza, the Lembah Jaya assemblyman, also said it was “not right to take advantage and reap profits multiple times” during the pandemic crisis.

Amirudin had previously said that the higher fee was due to other costs such as payments for staff and vaccination centres.

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