Press statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP For Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur On 13 August 2021:
Overcome The Supply Shortage Of Pfizer Vaccines Now By Purchasing Sinovac Vaccines Instead As A Substitute And Ensure Proper Logistic Management That Provides A Painless And Uncomplicated Vaccination
Malaysians were rocked by the large number of 318 Covid-19 deaths and a record 21,688 daily infections on 12 August 2021, bringing the cumulative cases to a horrifying 1,342,215 and total death toll of 11,691. What is disturbing is that there are still 1,059 cases in ICU with 543 intubated despite the 318 deaths, as compared to 1,053 cases in ICU and 546 requiring intubation. Unfortunately, the high death toll has not reduced the chronic Category 5 cases in ICU or those requiring intubation, with new chronic cases replacing immediately those who have sadly lost their lives.
The failed PN government has totally lost control of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the economic crisis resulting in loss of lives and livelihoods for Malaysians. PN’s disgraceful incompetence, double standards in enforcement and policy flip-flops have enabled the escalation of the third wave. The government has simply not done enough for our health workers and frontliners. The poor support given to our frontliners and abysmal conditions and facilities for Covid-19 patients in government hospitals, especially Serdang Hospital as highlighted in the social media, highlights the suffering of the rakyat under the PN government.
Vaccination is our only protection left. The delay in getting early vaccine appointments has caused anguish and agony for those waiting in vain and tormented those who would not have contracted Covid-19 if they were vaccinated earlier. Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing, who lost his brother through Covid-19, said that his brother would still have been alive if the vaccines had arrived earlier.
In most countries, the vaccination experience is anxiety-free but not in Malaysia. The abrupt postponement of vaccine appointments in a Penang Vaccine Administration Centres(PPV) for recipients already there because of vaccine supply shortage or long queues outside PPV in Johor without SOP compliance putting those waiting for 5 hours at risk of infection is unacceptable.
In his speech in Parliament on 28 July 2021, the Coordinating Minister for Vaccination Khairy Jamaluddin mentioned that 12.5 million Malaysians have at least received the first dose out of the 18.8 million adults registered. Since the 18.8 million adult Malaysians registered comprise 80.5% of the adult population in Malaysia, 37.6 million doses of vaccines are required for two doses for full immunisation. The government has received 26.4 million doses of vaccine, short of 11.2 million doses of Pfizer which is expected to arrive over the next 2 months.
Can we wait another two months risking the lives and livelihood of our loved ones, especially when there is now a disruption in the supply of Pfizer? What is required is another 11.2 million doses of vaccine to enable all the 18.8 million adults registered to be immunised immediately. DAP has persistently advocated the PN government to spend another RM1.5 billion to buy the shortfall of 11.2 million doses from Pharmaniaga, who is selling 14 million doses of Sinovac?
The Federal government has indeed purchased 2 million doses of Sinovac from Pharmaniaga on 26 July which it has taken delivery and has just purchased another 6 million doses of Sinovac which will be delivered by the end of this month. The additional 8 million doses purchased still make us short of the remaining 3.2 million doses, which should be purchased immediately from Pharmaniaga.
What is needed is an Operation Surge Capacity(OSC) similar to Klang Valley to match logistics and vaccine supply to ensure there is no disruption in the delivery. What is the point of having vaccines if the basic logistic management can not be sorted out? DAP reiterates our call for an OSC for every state to better coordinate between the Federal and State governments to facilitate vaccine reliability. There must be proper logistic management of vaccine supplies to ensure a painless and uncomplicated vaccination experience so that the long wait and queues in PPV Johor and cancellation of appointments in PPV Penang due to vaccine shortage does not recur.
Malaysians do not want to wait a day longer for their vaccines. According to the Health Ministry, 80% of infections were from those who were not vaccinated. For those in the most serious Category 5, 98% were from those not vaccinated. How many more Malaysians will die unnecessarily in the next 2-3 months because they were not vaccinated? Herd immunity should be achieved through inoculation and not through both inoculation and infections.