Walk-in option at 10 centres

A vaccination programme being held at Persatuan Syukur Penyayang Pulau Pinang old folk’s home in Ayer Itam.

TEN vaccination centres in Penang will be open for residents to walk in starting from 10am today, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the walk-in slots would be open to those aged 18 and above who have not received their vaccine appointment or have not registered for the vaccination programme.

“This is on a first-come, first-served basis based on the supply of doses and capacity at the respective centres.

“You must not be unwell or have had close contact with a Covid-19 patient. You must also not be under quarantine for Covid-19 reasons,” he said in a statement.

The centres on the island are Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas, Pesta site in Sungai Nibong and Balik Pulau Sports Complex.

On the mainland, the vaccination centres are at Dewan Milenium and Perda Convention Centre in Tasek Gelugor, SP Arena, Seberang Jaya expo site and Vangohh Eminent Hotel in Machang Bubok, along with Dewan Sungai Bakap and Dewan Serbaguna Jawi in south Seberang Prai.

Meanwhile, Dr Norlela Ariffin said a total of 205,350, or 93%, of the senior citizens in Penang were fully vaccinated as of Aug 7.

The health committee chairman said the state government was now looking for the remaining 7% whom she believed were either not registered or not aware of the inoculation programme.

“This is why we need to reach out to them via our mobile vaccination services.

“We need to visit the rural areas and get everyone vaccinated,” she said, adding that 2,795 senior citizens from 132 old folk’s homes in the state were among those who were fully vaccinated.

Dr Norlela said all Penang senior citizens who had registered via the MySejahtera app had been fully jabbed since last month.

On the 200,000 vaccine doses which were originally loaned to Penang from Selangor, Norlela said the state would now receive them for “free” from the Selangor Health Department.

She was informed of the decision by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on Saturday.

“Dr Adham said the 200,000 doses were no longer considered a loan.

“It is an allocation to Penang from the Selangor Health Department, and we do not have to return the doses.

“This is on top of the 20,000 doses worth RM3mil that were donated to us,” she said.

Dr Norlela said she had told Dr Adham that the vaccination rate in Penang needed to be expedited due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in the state.

“We were given fewer doses compared with other states as the number of Covid-19 cases here was low at first.

“The doses were channelled towards other states with more cases.

“We are paying the price now because we could not vaccinate everyone by August due to the lack of doses.

“We did have ample supply of the Pfizer vaccine in July, that is why our daily vaccination rate was higher then.

“It declined in August as the global supply chain of the Pfizer vaccine was affected,” she said.

As of Sept 4, a total of 833,788 or 61% of the adult population in Penang had received both doses, while 1,184,481 adults or 86.6% have received their first dose.

This month, Penang is expected to receive 1,015,500 doses of vaccines comprising Pfizer (760,500 doses), Sinovac (200,000 doses), AstraZeneca (40,000 doses) and the single-dose CanSino (15,000 doses).

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