by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by TMR FILE
NORTHPORT (M) Bhd, Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd and iHEAL Medical Centre are collaborating to jointly organise a Covid-19 booster vaccination programme with the aim of enhancing the immunity of port employees and the Port Klang community against the Covid-19 virus.
According to them, the booster vaccination programme, which kicked-off on Dec 17, will be held for approximately two months at Port Klang Authority Sports Club Hall.
In this collaborative programme, Northport and Westports will fund the establishment of the vaccination centre (PPV).
iHEAL, a heart and heart-related hospital licensed by the Health Ministry (MoH) and appointed as a partner for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) by Protecthealth Corp Sdn Bhd, will be responsible to maintain clinical standards and administer the booster shots.
The booster vaccination programme is also being extended to Port Klang’s local community as part of Northport’s and Westports’ corporate social responsibility initiative to allow the community to get their booster dose at no cost under the NCIP.
The programme has the capacity to administer 2,000 booster shots per day and is expected to benefit more than 60,000 port workers and the local community.
Commenting on the initiative, Northport CEO Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof said their record showed that the first two doses of vaccine have helped to reduce the number of severe (category 4 and 5) Covid-19 cases among our employees and port users.
However, he said data from other countries which started their vaccination programme earlier than Malaysia, are showing that Covid-19 vaccines are losing their efficacy over a period of time.
“Therefore, Northport has invited Westports and iHEAL to collaborate and jointly organise the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme.
“We would also like to thank the Port Klang Authority for allowing us to use their sports complex facility for this purpose.
“We believe that this programme will help the government speed up the process of giving extra protection to the public against Covid-19, while at the same time help our local community to get their booster shots sooner, at a vaccination facility closer to their residence,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, Westports Group MD Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said it is crucial for the port workers to be fully vaccinated as the port sector is categorised under the essential services that continue to operate 24 hours seven days a week to ensure that the national economy and the movement of goods are not interrupted.
He added that the emergence of new Covid-19 variants has pushed the need for port workers to be given additional protection against the virus.
“Therefore, we have collaborated to organise the programme for the port workers as well as for the Port Klang community as part of our corporate social responsibility initiative,” he noted.
iHEAL Medical Centre founder and medical doctor Dr David Khoo Sin Keat thanked Northport and Westports for working with iHEAL in this programme.
“As a health service provider, it is our desire to make sure that the Covid-19 vaccination is accessible to the majority of the public.
“Hence, the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme organised at an off-site location such as Klang is a great avenue for us to ensure more people receive their booster dose, which in turn will prevent and reduce serious health issues caused by Covid-19,” he said.
In June this year, Northport, Westports and iHEAL were also involved in the first vaccination programme for the transportation sector, managed by Port Klang Authority.
The programme successfully administered two-dose vaccination to more than 10,000 seafarers and port workers in Port Klang.