Oil palm plantation owners gear up worker vaccinations

PPVIN at Sarawak Oil Palm Bhd in Lambir, Miri.

KUCHING: Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (Soppoa) has set up Industrial Vaccination Centres (PPVINs) statewide for plantation workers since July 7.

Its chief executive Andrew Cheng said that the PPVINs were set up in oil palm estates in, among others, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

He added that similar small-scale programmes had also been carried out in various districts earlier.

Cheng said the industry was the first in the country to vaccinate employees en masse at estates, mills and refineries, adding that this effort was planned and carried out by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee with major stakeholders and full participation of the plantation sector.

“Vaccination programmes are now being carried out in Soppoa members premises and also in rural public venues.

“Our members have also submitted their employee details to the Sarawak Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Ministry for the vaccination programme and they are given schedules on when the medical teams will come.

“By pooling the employees together in one setting, the vaccination programme will be carried out efficiently.”

PPVIN at Palmcol Sdn Bhd Estate in Sibu.

Cheng applauded ministry permanent secretary Edwin Abit and team for coordinating with Soppoa, Protect Health Corporation and Covid-19 Immunisation Special Task Force to make the programme possible.

Meanwhile, he said that in some rural areas, smaller estates with lesser number of employees were pooled together with surrounding smallholders to form a larger unit or share with existing plantation PPVINs.

“This is so that more people can be vaccinated in a much shorter time.”

“Along with this, Soppoa would like to advise all employees of all sectors to come forward and support this national vaccination programme by providing all necessary resources available during this unprecedented time to fight against Covid-19 in the country.”

PPVIN at Ta Ann Plywood in Sibu.