SOME 207,284 people have been vaccinated in Penang and the capacity needs to be increased for the state to reach an 80% vaccinated population.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said to reach herd immunity, at least 1.3 million people need to be vaccinated among the 1.8 million population.
“So far, the state has seven vaccination centres (PPVs) with at least six public hospitals and other private clinics on board to help with the vaccination programme.
“On Monday, the Health Ministry has approved 19 private clinics to help.
“So preparations are there for us to intensify vaccination and to achieve herd immunity.
“Anyhow, we need more PPVs which can take in the capacity to help us achieve our goal,” he told a press conference during a visit to the PPV at the Penang Pesta site in Sungai Nibong yesterday.
Jagdeep said the vaccination process needed to be sped up for the state to reach an 80% vaccinated population by August.
“In this case, it would mean we need to vaccinate at least 20,000 people a day.
“Currently, we are seeing 9,000 to 10,000 receiving vaccine jabs each day so we hope to have more facilities like this to speed up the process.”
At the Penang Pesta site, an average of 860 people are vaccinated every day.
“Currently, 979,770 have registered for the vaccines and we appeal to more Penangites to register for their jabs.”
Jagdeep also said both Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) carried out two million SOP compliance checks in the state.
“On the island as of June 22, MBPP carried out 967,971 checks and found a compliance rate of 99.5%.
“MBSP carried out 1.03 million checks and found a 99.3% compliance rate,” he added.
Meanwhile, Penang Adventist Hospital has joined the National Immunisation Programme with its Covid-19 PPV beginning operations on June 21.
The centre, which is open from Monday to Friday, will inoculate 50 senior citizens a day.
Penang Adventist Hospital chief executive officer Ronald Koh said a total of 16 staff members were assigned to handle the vaccination at any one time, including one doctor and 13 registered nurses.
The hospital, in a statement, said those who come for the vaccination will be rewarded with a loaf of wholemeal bread from
the Adventist Bakery.
State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, who visited the centre, said the supply of vaccines needed to be on par with the number of PPVs ramped up in the state.
“The Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee should hasten vaccine supplies to private hospitals which are operating as PPVs.”
Private hospitals, said Yeoh, were equipped with medical personnel and technical expertise to deliver vaccine doses. Ample vaccine supply would allow them to boost their vaccination capacity.
Also present during the visit were Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee and Penang Centre of Medical Tourism executive director Dr Mary Ann Harris.