by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MINISTER in charge of the national vaccination rollout programme Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (picture) denied that he had ordered the directive for the Genting Group employees to be vaccinated.
He said the decision to inoculate tourism sector employees from 56 hotels in Kuantan, Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Raub, Mentakab, Bentong, Bukit Tinggi and Fraser’s Hill, was made by Pahang’s Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF).
Khairy said in a statement on Wednesday only those categorised as frontliners received the vaccine in the first phase of the programme, which was managed by the CITF in the respective states.
According to him, he had written a letter to the Pahang state government on April 12 to clarify that the vaccination lists are under the purview of Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee. Khairy said the national CITF only found out about the state’s decision after the vaccination process had begun.
“Until any groups are listed, the previous priority list applies,” he explained.
Separately, Khairy said the RM70 million allocation for integration costs and appointment system under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) will comprise several systems that will be developed.
He said the integration and development of intermediary systems would facilitate the vaccination registration process and monitoring vaccine supply from receipts to complete dose at each vaccine delivery centre.
The RM70 million was earmarked as part of the RM5 billion budget for NIP.
The systems that will be developed included NIP management and achievement monitoring, daily report dashboard, MySejahtera database integration with the Health Ministry’s current pharmaceutical system, chatbot system, vaccine registration portal and tracking system through MySejahtera.
Genomic surveillance and immunisation surveillance systems; digital passport integration with MySejahtera and Malaysian vaccine support volunteer’s system will also be developed by using the RM70 million funds, among others.
“The total allocation of RM5 billion including for each of the listed items are ceiling limits set by the Finance Ministry.
“Although the final amount of expenses is still not final, it should not exceed the ceiling level,” Khairy said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said NIP is the largest immunisation programme ever implemented in Malaysia involving 26.5 million people or equivalent to 80% of the total population.
The minister said NIP will be conducted throughout the year and requires a sufficient amount of allocation to execute.
“Thus, no questions should arise claiming the allocation is not prudent,” he added.
Recently, Khairy said an additional RM2 billion is needed for NIP due to many factors including increased costs of vaccine procurement and to administer the programme, inflating the allocation to RM5 billion.
He said the RM5 billion allocation covered RM3.5 billion for vaccine procurement and logistics, RM333 million (rental and utilities), RM260 million (disposable equipment, and vaccination implementation) and RM100 for sanitisation and cleaning.
The allocation also includes gifts for non-health volunteers worth RM200 million, data integration costs and appointment system (RM70 million); community outreach and vaccination advocacy programme (RM55 million); health volunteers’ gifts (RM147 million); post-immunisation surveillance and system upgrade (RM15 million); outsourced private medical practitioners (RM210 million) and unexpected contingencies (RM110 million).