SOME 30% of teenagers aged 16 and 17 in Penang have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine since the programme started last week.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said he was glad that the state’s young teens were getting inoculated as a public health measure against Covid-19.
He said students aged 12 to 15 in Penang had started receiving their first dose of vaccination under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme on Wednesday.
“Children must be given an assurance of safety when they go out to restaurants with their parents and even to schools, where it’s crowded.
“As a parent myself, I can understand that parents will be worried about their children’s safety whenever they take them to places,” he told The Star in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
Schools in states under phases two and three of the National Recovery Plan are set to reopen in stages from Oct 3, beginning with exam-year students in Forms Five and Six. Penang is currently in phase two.
Jagdeep said as of Sept 28, 81.1% of the adult population in Penang had received both doses, while 95.6% had received at least one dose.
He had earlier said the state government had vaccinated almost 16,000 hawkers and petty traders under the Community Vaccine Mobilisation (Movak) programme, and 40,000 locals underwent swab tests through the state’s Covid-19 mass screening programme (PSC-19).
“There will be another round of screening for targeted and vulnerable groups, including market traders prior to the reopening of markets.
“A total of 33 markets in Penang were closed thus far, where 16 were on the island and 17 on the mainland,” he said.
On another note, Jagdeep said it was also important to vaccinate undocumented foreign workers.
“They have been given the ‘Covid-19 amnesty’ to receive vaccines at vaccination centres as a safety precaution.
“The virus can affect just about anyone,” he said.
Jagdeep also said a total of 64 compounds had been issued by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), while 103 compounds were issued by the Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) since May.
He said the four biggest offences include failure to wear a mask, failure to scan the MySejahtera app, not having temperature checks, and not observing physical distancing.
“Some excuses given were confusion with the standard operating procedures (SOP) as rules and regulations keep changing.
“Everyone must take the SOP seriously by maintaining a physical distance and wearing a mask even after relaxation is given by the Federal Government.
“We will discuss whether to add or change any SOP to ensure public safety after the inoculation rate of 90% of the nation’s adult population is achieved,” added Jagdeep.