Media Statement by MP for Kluang, Wong Shu Qi on 16 June 2021:
PN government must act fairly and transparently in vaccination exercise
Our daily innoculation reached 197,963 on June 14. This is a good sign for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP). Kudos especially to doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and volunteers involved.
At a time when the NIP is progressing, it is important that all parties do not let our guards down. Vaccination is our final defense against the pandemic and we must ensure the success of NIP.
The most critical thing to do now is to ensure that our senior citizens and those with comorbidities are vaccinated quickly according to the original Phase 2 plan which is currently badly behind schedule.
In Johor, some elderly people in small towns like Kahang, Paloh and Niyor have yet to receive their first dose. I must commend the Kluang district health office for taking the initiative to organize mobile vaccination centers on weekends with 500 doses allocated to Paloh recently. The vaccines were all given in a day, and many elderly are still waiting for their turn. It was a good initiative and should be emulated in small towns all over Johor.
Pejabat saya telah menerima beberapa aduan tentang pusat pemberian vaksin (PPV) di Dewan Jubli Intan Kluang yang tidak…Posted by Wong Shu Qi on Tuesday, 15 June 2021
We were informed that the number of vaccine doses allocated to every vaccination centres are fixed. Each centre will have to finish the allocated doses on the same day. Due to “dropouts” or “no-show” by those given appointments, vaccine centres may decide to offer the blank slots to those who accompany their elderly folks for vaccination. As such, some younger people were vaccinated as early as April this year.
Things have changed since then. Today, with graver pandemic situation, higher number of cases and better vaccine awareness, many senior citizens are very eager to take their vaccines. We even receive news of elderly folks waiting at vaccination centres every day to try their luck on the waiting list for blank slots of the day.
Therefore I am surprised to receive news of places where young people in their 20s and 30s are already receiving vaccine appointments. These are not waiting list slots but rather appointments allocated via MySejahtera.
This morning I inspected one of the centres and indeed found that there were young people in the queue. We were told that these young people are from “high risk group” who need to take the vaccine first. I saw a few pregnant women but beyond that, the other younger folks waiting for their turn at the centre did not seem to be in the “high risk” group compared to many elderly and those with comorbidities.
I urge the minister to be transparent about the doses of vaccines allocated to each centre every day.
While I wish we can already vaccinate everyone in our population now, it is important to prioritise the vulnerable and high risk groups. This is after all the original plan of the NIP especially in Phase 2. If there are areas which do not require so many doses, then these extra doses should be sent instead to more populous areas with many more elderly folks queuing up for their turns.