Selangor prepares for vaccine booster initiative

Preparations include provision for individuals aged 18 and below upon approval from JKJAV

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by TMR FILE

THE Selangor government is preparing to initiate the Covid-19 booster dose administration for its residents under the Selangor Covid-19 Vaccine Programme (SelVAX).

State Public Health, Unity, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (picture) said preparations include the provision for individuals aged 18 and below upon approval from the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV).

She said the state health arm, Selgate Healthcare Sdn Bhd, which was entrusted to carry out the SelVAX programme, will utilise the balance of Covid-19 vaccine doses procured earlier for the booster shots.

“Selgate will continue to sell vaccines through panel clinics across the country.

“In addition, Selgate is also in preparation for third injections if necessary, and for the vaccination of people aged 18 (and below), which is subject to JKJAV’s approval,” Dr Siti Mariah told the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

She was responding to a question from Wong Siew Ki (PH-Balakong) who wanted to know about the progress of the SelVAX Komuniti and SelVAX Industri programmes.

The state had procured a total of 2.5 million doses of vaccine under the SelVAX programme.

The two-dose Sinovac vaccine was aimed to be administered to 250,000 individuals and one million workers under SelVAX Komuniti and SelVAX Industri respectively.

As of Aug 22, Dr Siti Mariah said the number of vaccine doses dispensed under SelVAX Komuniti stood at 224,880, with 275,120 doses remaining.

The Seri Serdang assemblyman added that for SelVAX Industri, 142,719 doses of the vaccine had been administered out of the 750,000 doses allocated.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari previously said some 500,000 doses that Selangor is holding now will be loaned to the federal government to support shortages in other states.

He said the doses would be returned to Selangor within two months, which will allow the state to roll out the booster inoculation initiative if required. Meanwhile, Dr Siti Mariah also revealed

that Gombak and Hulu Langat have suffered the highest Covid-19 fatalities per capita in Selangor this year.

She pointed out that in Gombak, Covid-19 deaths amounted to 672 cases this year as of Aug 10, which is equivalent to about 818.5 deaths per million population. Hulu Langat trails with about 747.8 deaths per million people, as 1,029 Covid-19 deaths were recorded over the same period.

Selangor remains the highest contributor to the country’s daily coronavirus cases and death count.

As of yesterday, the state reported 6,325 new cases, bringing the tally to 572,796 Covid-19 cumulative infections as opposed to 1.6 million infections at the national level.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on Monday attributed the state’s Covid-19 situation to the lack of standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance, poor enforcement and initial delays in the vaccination programme.

Dr Siti Mariah also blamed the surge on the federal administration’s refusal to share data that hindered contact tracing work.

“There is no information by the Selangor State Health Department which showed the variants’ breakdown. Also, not all cases underwent sequencing tests genome to determine the type of variant.

“Only a small number of cases were tested, which could not be extrapolated to the cause of death as the data was non-representative,” she said, to a question from Leong Tuck Chee (PH-Pandamaran).