by BERNAMA/ pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
The Program Imunisasi Industri COVID19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (PIKAS) for the manufacturing sector will be launched as Phase 4 of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), beginning on June 16.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said PIKAS will be implemented with on-site vaccinations at designated factories and industrial locations.
PIKAS has received a nod from the Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) co-chaired by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Ministry of Health (MOH).
Companies in critical manufacturing sub-sectors including electrical and electronics, food processing, iron and steel, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), oil and gas and rubber products including medical glove manufacturing sub-sectors will be prioritised for vaccination.
“These sectors are critical in supporting the supply chain of essential products and services as well as the construction, maintenance and smooth functioning of critical infrastructures including utilities and public healthcare system,” MITI said in a statement today.
MITI said this is to expedite the attainment of herd immunity among the community.
PIKAS is a public-private partnership immunisation program aimed at employees of which MITI has been tasked to coordinate the immunisation for employees in the manufacturing sector.
“Several other ministries will also be responsible for vaccination of employees in their respective sectors. Participation of companies and employees in PIKAS is voluntary.
“PIKAS is initiated in response to calls from industry associations, business chambers of commerce and small and medium enterprises to help the government accelerate the immunisation for the rakyat,” the ministry said.
Senior Minister and MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government is committed to ensuring employees have free vaccines under PIKAS, supported by the private sector in administering vaccines utilising private medical practitioners, implemented nationwide including vaccination at factory premises.
He said further to earlier engagements, MITI will conduct additional sessions with industry associations and business chambers of commerce with regard to coordinating with MITI on the implementation process.
MITI has thus far received applications from approximately 500 companies with a total of 106,591 workers to participate in PIKAS.
Other companies interested to participate are welcome to submit their applications through their industry associations and business chambers of commerce.
“Priority of vaccination of companies will be based on several considerations including company’s location in COVID-19 red zones.
“Companies are subject to terms and conditions that include employees having registered with MySejahtera under PICK,” Mohamed Azmin said.
Employers shall not deduct administration fees paid to the private medical general practitioners and for usage of private-run vaccine administration centres from employee’s salary including in cases where the employee is no longer employed by the company before full immunisation of the employee.
He said while the vaccination for the most vulnerable groups remains a priority for the government under PICK and will not be compromised, the implementation of PIKAS is imperative to protect workers against the risk of infection.