PETALING JAYA: The government must determine which 20% of Malaysians will be given Covid-19 vaccinations once it is made available, says the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
In a statement yesterday, MMA president Dr N. Ganabaskaran said there was a need to determine which vulnerable or high-risk groups would be given priority for vaccination.
“This can be a challenge and important decisions will need to be made in the near future,” he said, noting that the universal approach would be to prioritise vulnerable groups.
“Who will fall under the category of ‘vulnerable’ or ‘high-risk’ will need to be determined and listed in proper order, and this needs to be well planned ahead of vaccine distribution,” he said.
While lauding the government’s move to join 172 countries in the global Covax Covid-19 vaccine access plan co-led by the World Health Organisation, he said there was still a need for the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) to work closely with the Health Ministry on the matter.
“Apart from consulting experts and professional groups, the government is urged to engage stakeholders and gather public feedback,” he said, adding that there should be regular public updates on the status of the Covax plan.
“The public should be involved in the decision-making process,” said Dr Ganabaskaran, who added that the MMA also supported Mosti’s suggestion for the vaccine to be made free.
Under the Covax vaccine plan, countries will have access to the vaccine, subject to funding availability, and funded countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate up to 20% of their population in the longer term.
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