ISKANDAR PUTERI: The government is confident that the vaccination rate in the country would hit 300,000 a day by August.
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said this would depend on whether the vaccines arrived on schedule.
“That is why I am visiting the states, to ensure that the necessary facilities are in place to allow us to ramp up the vaccination rate.
“We are targeting a vaccination rate of 200,000 a day by July and 300,000 a day by August. If we can do this, I am confident we can achieve our target of vaccinating 80 per cent of the population by October,” he said.
Khairy, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), said it was important to increase the number of the vaccination centres (PPV) and boost their capacity to ensure enough manpower.
“That is why we need to mobilise more people from the private sector, including medical professionals like housemen, retired nurses and doctors and medical students.
“Massive planning is happening now to ensure that in the coming months, we can meet our daily target of getting more than 300,000 (vaccination) a day,” said Khairy.
He also said the government currently had more detailed information on the arrival of the vaccines.
“We are more clear on the delivery schedule of the SinoVac vaccine and are currently working out on the delivery schedule of the AstraZeneca vaccine as there have been some changes there.
“We are also finalising our delivery schedule for the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer have promised to deliver 25 milion doses in the third quarter of this year, beginning next month,” said Khairy.
He was speaking to the media after attending the Johor Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force at the Datuk Jaafar Muhammad Building here. Also present was Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
The New Straits Times in a report today quoted an expert saying that Malaysia needed to vaccinate between 300,000 and 500,000 people a day to achieve herd immunity by year end.
Epidemiologist Professor Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud of Universiti Malaya said there was a need to boost vaccination as the number of sporadic cases had increased and the growing suspicion that the infectious period for Covid-19 had reached 21 days.
On the meeting, Khairy said a PPV would be opened in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi on June 16 to vaccinate those working at the Petronas complex there.
“Another PPV for the industry will be opened in Mount Austin by the end of the month. This is part of the efforts to vaccinate those in the relevant sectors which need to operate,” said Khairy.
He also said Johor planned to open a mega PPV in every district in the state.
“We also have received Johor’s proposal to mobilise mobile and drive-through PPVs.
“We have set a target of vaccinating three millions Johoreans by end of October,” said Khairy.
Hasni, meanwhile, said Johor would not conduct mass testing but instead focus on targeted screening in high risk areas.
“We have received 20,000 RTK Antigen test kits from Singapore through the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation.
“These kits can produce results in five minutes with an accuracy of 98 per cent. With these kits, we hope to detect Covid-19 cases more quickly so that we can flatten the infection curve, especially in Johor Baru,” said Hasni. -NST