PEMULIH: Five initiatives to increase capacity, expedite vaccination – PM Muhyiddin

PEMULIH: Five initiatives to increase capacity, expedite vaccination – PM Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 – The government will implement five additional initiatives to further increase capacity and expedite the provision of vaccines to the people under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister said via the first initiative, the government had allocated a total of RM400 million to increase the country's vaccine supply, thus seeing the total supply of vaccines to be enough to cover 130 per cent of the population compared with 120 per cent previously.

He said the increase in the supply of the vaccine was as an additional buffer stock, and aimed to start the vaccination process for 6.4 million adolescents, aged 12 to 18, with those who will sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) this year being given priority.

“I would also like to emphasise that the government is closely monitoring and tightening up controls following the spread of the Delta Plus variant. It has caused some countries to record an increase in infections, and have had to re-implement movement control orders,” he said.

He said this during the announcement of the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (PEMULIH), worth RM150 billion, broadcast live on television today.

Through the second initiative, the Prime Minister said that the government would open 29 new vaccination centres (PPVs), upgrade existing PPVs, and implement drive-thru PPVs, Mobile PPVs and door-to-door outreach programmes, involving a total allocation of RM200 million.

To date, he said a total of 341 PPVs nationwide had been opened, comprising 320 public PPVs, 13 Mega PPVs and eight institution of higher learning (IPT) PPVs.

He also cited several programmes he visited, including the MyMedic @ Wilayah Mobile Vaccination programme at the Sri Johor People's Housing Project, Kuala Lumpur, which focuses on the elderly and homeless, the Orang Asli immunisation programme in rural areas using mobile bus units, several drive-thru PPVs at public IPTs and the drive-thru PPV for persons with disabilities (PwDs) in Ara Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Muhyiddin said for the third initiative, a total of 14,000 healthcare frontliners involved in PICK would receive an increase in the payment of special allowances, from RM200 to RM600, for six months starting this July, involving an additional allocation of RM200 million.

“This allocation is a continuous recognition of the services and contributions of our healthcare frontliners, who continue to fight for our beloved nation,” he said.

For the fourth initiative, which aims to encourage the implementation of the Public-Private Partnership COVID-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (PIKAS), Muhyiddin said the government had provided an allocation of RM150 million to help alleviate companies’ costs.

Under the initiative, he said that the government agreed that employers registered under the Human Resources Development Corporation (HRD Corp) could use the remaining current levy of up to 10 per cent for the cost of management and purchase of COVID-19 vaccine besides giving tax deductions on expenses on equipment in setting up the PPVs by employers.

He said the tax deduction on COVID-19 contributions through community or charitable projects was also extended to cover contributions to PPVs, and to give due consideration for permission for the company to operate at full capacity once all employees had completed two doses of vaccine.

Muhyiddin said to ensure that vulnerable groups would not be left out from getting vaccinated, several programmes at the community level would also be expedited under the fifth initiative.

He said among them was the provision of a subsidy of up to RM30 for the cost of taxi fares and e-hailing services for the disabled and senior citizens, to facilitate their movement to get the vaccine on the day of the appointment.

“The total value of the third focus, which is to increase vaccination under the PEMULIH package, is RM1 billion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said according to statistics as of June 26, a total of seven million doses of vaccine have been administered to five million people in the country.

“A total of 15.5 per cent have received the first dose and almost 2 million people or 6 per cent have completed two doses of vaccine. Alhamdulillah, we have also managed to maintain an average vaccination rate of over 200,000 a day in the past seven days.

“Apart from that, a total of 16.3 million people have registered for vaccination thus far. Looking at this achievement, the government is optimistic that all the planned efforts are on track,” he said.

“For those who have yet to register for vaccination, do immediately fulfil your obligations for the common good. Give full cooperation and also time for the implementation of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, so that this National Recovery Plan will be successfully implemented,” he said.