by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by TMR FILE
THE Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) is urging the government to reconsider the decision to confine only a certain brand or type of vaccine to the private sector in August as this will fail to fulfill the primary reason for private vaccination.
APHM president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said private hospitals would be very cautious if the type of vaccines they pay for is limited, as it is common knowledge that the acceptability of vaccines internationally varies largely on the source and type of vaccines.
“When vaccines are commercialised, it is key to have different types of vaccines made available for the public to choose accordingly to fit their needs.
“The issue of unfair distribution and inequality of the vaccine will not arise anymore in August as most of the population would have been vaccinated, particularly those who are front liners, vulnerable and with low economic status,” he said in a statement.
Vaccination of Covid-19 is deemed to be a long-term solution to the pandemic which may be inclusive of the possibility of booster doses next year.
“With this in mind, it will be only logical that private vaccination should be open to all types and brands of vaccines as the consumers will pay based on their choice.
“We hope these facts will be considered soon as the private sector will have to strategise their procurement plans,” he added.
APHM welcomed Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s announcement that in August 2021, private vaccination will be available for those who are willing to pay for early inoculation.
“This is a timely decision as there are many private companies with huge work forces contributing to the country’s economy that require early vaccination of their staff.
“Besides that, there are also individuals who are desperate to have their vaccines early for travel and business reasons.
“However, we understand that there is a global shortage of vaccines and unfair international distribution to many parts of the world including Malaysia, therefore the luxury of having all types of vaccines in private hospitals may be impossible at this point of time,” he said.