Vaccine distribution to the state unfair, says Sultan Selangor

He stresses it is unfair that the current amount of vaccine deliveries is not proportionate to the size of Selangor’s 6.5m population

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by BERNAMA

SULTAN of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (picture) said the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to the state is unfair as the supply is disproportionate to Selangor’s population.

In a statement yesterday, Sultan Sharafuddin’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani said His Majesty was surprised that Selangor had only received 615,210 doses of Covid-19 vaccine instead of 2.9 million as initially announced by the federal government.

“He stressed that it is unfair that the current amount of vaccine deliveries is not proportionate to the size of Selangor’s 6.5 million population.

“He wished to remind that the state of Selangor is the biggest contributor to Malaysia’s GDP, hence this state should be prioritised,” the statement said.

On Saturday, the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) clarified that Selangor, for statewide distribution, has received 615,210 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of June 1.

The clarification was made following a confusion over the number that CITF provided earlier, which stated that Selangor had received 2.9 million doses.

That subsequently turned out to be the inclusion of stock in a distributor’s warehouse in Selangor intended for nationwide distribution.

Meanwhile, Sultan Sharafuddin expressed his disappointment with anti-vaccine campaigns discouraging people from taking the Covid-19 vaccines.

In the same statement, Sultan Sharafuddin said he hoped that people would not be influenced by the group’s misleading messages as vaccines can save people’s lives and alleviate Covid-19 symptoms.

Mohamad Munir said the Sultan is worried that the anti-vaccine group movement will damage the country’s goal of herd immunity.

“His Royal Highness is worried that the country’s target to achieve herd immunity will not be met, considering that there are people refusing to take the vaccines,” he said.

The anti-vaccine trend has reached a worrying level. Recently, local news reported a group of local radical individuals who rejected modern medicine has managed to attract up to over 40,000 followers on social media to promote their belief.

The group’s Facebook page also served as an interaction platform for anti-vaccine groups to exchange views and share ideas on how to reject government health programmes and medical practitioners’ efforts to correct public perceptions.

This group, which has been around since 2016, has also become a virtual platform for opponents of the country’s vaccination programme, so much so that it has become the main reference for parents who doubt the vaccine.

The federal government, through the CITF and the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) are already ramping up the vaccine procurement and distributions to inoculate 80% of the 32 million Malaysian population by December.

However, as of now, only 12.7 million, or 40% of the total population has registered for the vaccine.

Over 2.4 million people have been vaccinated to date, according to the JKJAV website.

Mohamad Munir added that Sultan Sharafuddin is also worried about the state constantly topping the list of daily new cases in the country, which spiked to 203,520 as well as the 961 death toll as of Monday.

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