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Why start Phase 4 of NIP when many seniors are still waiting to get vaccinated under Phase 2?

Media Statement
9th June 2021

Khairy Jamaluddin has failed to ensure senior citizens are prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine

Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that the government will start Phase 4 of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) from 14 June onwards. Phase 4 will target workers in critical economic sectors.

It is now clear that the government is not prioritising senior citizens under Phase 2 anymore.

As Khairy himself has repeatedly stated, our supply of Covid-19 vaccines is limited. Starting Phase 4 concurrently with Phase 2 means fewer vaccines would be available for senior citizens.

This is a major deviation from the government’s own policy. In effect, senior citizens would have to wait longer for their vaccine although they are categorised as a high-risk group.

I have previously asked the government to disclose more information on the number of senior citizens who have registered and received the vaccine.

Khairy has finally responded with some data. He stated that 2,256,227 senior citizens have registered for the vaccine, but only 855,124 of them (38%) have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Clearly, Phase 2 is progressing too slowly, and yet the government wants to start with Phase 4 before completing Phase 2.

Khairy also mentioned that 436,244 senior citizens have received their appointments and will be vaccinated by the middle of June. Even if they are added to the tally, it means only 57% of the registered senior citizens would be vaccinated by mid-June.

The other 964,859 senior citizens (43%) are now told to wait in line while the government fast tracks vaccines for workers in certain economic sectors.

Many of these senior citizens have registered as far back as February. They heeded the call by Khairy to register and support the NIP. Khairy has now failed and let them down. This policy change is unfair to them. Khairy should answer how he intends to ensure senior citizens remain a priority under NIP.

Khoo Poay Tiong
MP for Kota Melaka

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