‘Get factory workers jabbed soon’


By R.

Factory workers waiting for their turn to take the Covid-19 swab test at a company in the Free Industrial Zone in Bayan Lepas, Penang, last November.

WITH more vaccines to be made available next month, manufacturing companies with fewer than 1,500 workers in Penang are looking at on-site vaccination for its employees, said Datuk Jimmy Ong.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang chairman said they were proposing a centralised vaccination centre for such a move to be carried out.

He said more than 35,000 employees had registered their interest in the proposal which could help achieve herd immunity and reduce the number of infections.

“The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) had in May proposed on-site vaccination for companies which have more than 1,500 workers.

“The smaller companies are left in the lurch as they don’t have the financial strength or logistics to carry out vaccination at the workplace.

“We’ll help companies with fewer than 1,500 workers, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which form the bulk of the over 300,000 employees in Penang, ” said Ong.

He added that besides seeking a centralised vaccination centre, FMM was also looking at using the existing vaccination centres, especially during weekends or a time when they were not in use.

“We are working closely with the state government to get more registrants, ” said Ong during an online Penang Manufacturing Industry Advisory Council press conference on Friday.

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin had said there would be faster delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to Malaysia soon, with 150,000 shots a day scheduled to be administered beginning next month.

Meanwhile, Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies Association (Frepenca) president David Lacey said it was all for the public-private partnership PPP Immunisation Model introduced by Miti for on-site vaccination for companies with more than 1,500 workers.“The government will bear the cost of the vaccines while the logistics and medical personnel expenses will be borne by the private sector.

“Our members can coordinate and facilitate the efforts on the ground but we hope the relevant ministries can expedite the programme rollout, ” he said.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) secretary-general Yeoh Seng Hooi said its members were worried about being left out of Miti’s PPP model due to the rule to have a minimum of 1,500 workers.

“We form more than 50% of the total workforce in the manufacturing sector and these workers need to be vaccinated to make the immunisation programme a success, ” he said.

The PPP Immunisation Model is targeted at local and foreign workers from the manufacturing and related services sectors based on the minimum threshold of 1,500 employees, either per company or per site (a group of companies within a location/industrial estate coming together).

This includes contractors or vendors working on site and are already registered with MySejahtera for the vaccination programme.

In line with the PPP model, the government will cover the vaccine cost only while companies will have to cover the vaccine administration cost including the management of company panel or public doctors (approved by Protect Health) and the Vaccine Management Centre according to Health Ministry specifications.

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penang , manufacturers , vaccine , mass vaccination , miti

   

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