Private hospitals ready to assist teen vaccination

by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic source: MOSTI

MEMBERS of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) are willing to turn their hospitals as vaccination centres for teenagers aged 12 to 17 to boost the country’s vaccination efforts if requested to do so. 

APHM president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this is part of the strategic immunisation plan for both the public and private sectors to expedite the vaccination for all members of the public as well as offering a seamless vaccination process. 

Recently, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (picture) said Covid-19 will most likely be declared endemic by the end of October, given 80% of the population will have been vaccinated. 

The Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) reported that as of Sept 1, a total of 65.1% of the adult population are fully vaccinated under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme since it launched on Feb 24. 

“Because of this, it is urgent to include teenagers in the programme and we private hospitals are willing to step in and assist,” Dr Kuljit said in a statement yesterday. 

Currently, parents have the option to get their children vaccinated at schools, however, taking safety concerns into account, public or private hospitals are preferred. 

He also added that mega vaccination centres might not be conducive for children unless there are no other viable options. 

“Family clinics and general practitioners are another good consideration,” he said. 

Notably, several additional private hospitals have begun administering private Covid-19 vaccination for adults, but children have yet to be included in the process. 

Dr Kuljit said the government needs to procure the best type of vaccine suitable for teens so that private healthcare can make the necessary arrangements. 

“To put away the fear among parents and doctors, the regulatory bodies should quickly verify the likelihood of vaccine complications for teens and children using the data received from vaccine manufacturers and published scientific studies,” he added. 

The Covid-19 vaccination programme, managed by JKJAV and Protec Health Sdn Bhd, has ceased in most private hospitals in the Klang Valley for the past month, however, some private hospitals are willing to continue. 

“We hope that the private hospitals will be able to procure various types of Covid-19 vaccines to deliver to the public who want our services while the public healthcare should also be ready to facilitate people’s preferences,” he concluded.