IPOH: A large-scale vaccination centre capable of dispensing over 8,000 shots daily will be set up in every state, said Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said this was in line with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s directive to complete the vaccination on all people by this year.
“The strategies and budget are being formulated for this purpose.
“We are looking at one centre which can handle up to 8,000 vaccine recipients per day in the third phase. For example, in Kuala Lumpur, the Bukit Jalil National Stadium,” he told reporters after visiting the vaccination centre at the Indera Mulia Stadium here, today.
Khairy, who is also the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said he would also discuss with the Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad to set up a larger vaccination centre in Ipoh.
“(Right now) the Indera Mulia Stadium can only accommodate 1,400 people per day. So, if we want a larger capacity, we need to have a larger vaccination centre,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) would organise a house-to-house campaign to encourage the people, especially in Kelantan, Terengganu and Sabah, to immediately register as Covid-19 vaccine recipients.
He said the lack of knowledge and awareness among the public, particularly those living in the rural and interior areas on the need to be vaccinated, had caused the number of people registered for vaccination in the three states to be among the lowest so far.
“This is also caused by the spread of inaccurate information on the vaccine on social media. So, I will meet with other members of Parliament next week and seek their support to encourage residents of the three states to register,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khairy said to date, the ministry has yet to receive any official application from the states to purchase the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The issue now is the shortage in the vaccine supply access. I have no problem if they want to buy. We can give approval to the state governments to make the procurement, but currently, we are facing scarcity in supply,” he said.
He said Pahang, Johor, Sarawak and Selangor have expressed their intention to purchase the vaccine in addition to the vaccine allocated by the federal government, to increase the capacity of the immunisation programme in the states.
In another development, Khairy said Malaysia was not qualified to receive the vaccine for free as the country was categorised as an upper middle-income nation.
“We (Malaysia) are not qualified because we are not in the low-income category. Many countries that receive free vaccine supply from China, India and Russia are considered low-income nations.
“So, we don’t get any discount and we don’t get it for free. We have to purchase the vaccine,” he explained.
Yesterday, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a media statement said there were reports that the Indian government was offering free vaccine to several countries, and questioned whether Malaysia was offered the free vaccine. – Bernama