SINOVAC and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines will be available as booster doses in Penang from today.
State health committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said the Federal Government had approved both the booster vaccines in addition to the Pfizer booster.
“For those who do not want Pfizer, there are 200,000 Sinovac doses available from December.
“A total of 84,541 individuals in the state had received their booster shots as at Nov 29, which is low as most of those who received Sinovac vaccines prefer the same type of vaccine for their booster shot,” she said when replying to a question by Gooi Hsiao Leung (PH-Bukit Tengah) at the state assembly yesterday.
Norlela said Penang, together with Sarawak, Klang Valley, Johor and Negri Sembilan, was still in the bottom five states in terms of people taking booster shots.
“Another issue is the limited capacity in private clinics that can only accommodate 20 to 30 individuals per day.
“The only way to increase the capacity is to open up more community halls in each constituency that can be converted into off-site vaccination centres.”
Later, when contacted for clarification, Norlela said that the Sinovac and AstraZeneca booster shots were free.
Separately, in what was an ‘all gloves are off’ moment, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow gave a strong rebuke to the Kedah government, telling it to stop questioning Penang’s sovereignty.“The ‘Kedah owns Penang’ argument put forth by the Kedah government had led to confusion as Penang was an equal member of the Malaysian federation.”
Chow was replying to Lee Khai Loon (PH-Machang Bubok), who asked about Kedah’s claims and whether Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor had demanded royalties or compensation from Penang at the Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers Conference.
“Under the state and federal constitutions, Penang’s sovereignty is clear and undebatable,” said Chow when answering Opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN-Sungai Dua) who asked the Chief Minster to sit down with the Mentri Besar to settle the issue.
In replying to an oral question from Satees Muniandy (PH-Bagan Dalam) on federal budget allocation to the state, Chow said Penang should be getting RM5bil in funding but only received RM996mil under Budget 2022.
“Given the state’s gross domestic product of 6.7% to 6.9% in the past three years, Penang deserves about RM5.2bil in allocations.
“We need the allocation for the development of industrial parks that support the manufacturing industry such as the new one in Batu Kawan which needs infrastructure for land readiness in meeting investor demand.”Meanwhile, a group of residents from the Centrio Avenue project in Gelugor staged a peaceful demonstration outside the state assembly pertaining to the project, which they claimed was defective when they moved there in 2015.
Group spokesman Noor Azirizal Ahmad Zaidi, 35, claimed that they had raised the matter with their assemblyman, MP and state officials but to no avail.
“We are here to show that the state should look into our grouses as 14 units have been affected by the developer’s shoddy work,” said Noor Azirizal before handing over a memorandum to lone PAS assemblyman Mohd Yusni Mat Piah (PN-Penaga).