EXCO Chong Eng urges federal government to decentralise vaccine procurement to achieve herd immunity fast

Press statement by YB Chong Eng, Chairman of DAP Women’s Wing:

Decentralise vaccine procurement to achieve herd immunity fast by roping in state governments and private health care sectors to work as one.

The Ministry of Health should allow state governments and private sectors to procure Covid-19 vaccines that have been registered with National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) so that supply of vaccines can be increased and expedite the vaccination as fast as possible to achieve ‘herd immunity’ the soonest.

I agree with suggestions made by former Minister of Health Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad’s suggestion to secure more supply and speed up vaccination in Malaysia.

The infographic from ‘Our World in Data’ clearly reminds us that we’re doing very badly in managing this raging 3rd Wave by way of cases per 1 million population, notwithstanding that our lCU beds and ventilators are in critical stage, as disclosed by the Director General of the Ministry of Health.

To achieve herd immunity the fastest, over-controlling and micro-managing the procurements are unnecessary and inefficient.

The private healthcare facilities have been procuring vaccines and injecting vaccines for babies since time immemorial.

We should mobilise all – federal and state governments, public and private healthcare facilities in Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.

What about price charged by the private healthcare facilities

The government can always implement a price control on these vaccines once the herd immunity is achieved.

There should be no further delay in administering Covid-19 vaccines and relying on public health sector to provide vaccination is simply too inefficient.

According to Khairy Jamaluddin, the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Malaysia has to inject 75,000 person per day for phase 2 and phase 3 to achieve herd immunity by end of December 2021. Otherwise we are looking at first Quarter 2022 and even longer period.

If getting the vaccine supply is difficult as claimed by Khairy, the NPRA should step in to facilitate and expedite the giving of Emergency Use Authorisation as done by many other countries on vaccines endorsed by WHO.

The federal government should be facilitating instead of stifling the national immunisation programme for Covid-19 vaccination.

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