Do more to accelerate vaccine rollout, says Anwar

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. - Filepic/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme to be expedited, saying it is moving slowly with less than 3% of the people vaccinated.

He said while the Federal Government blamed the delay on the lack of supply, several state governments, private businesses and foundations that ventured to buy their own supply of National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA)-approved vaccines had faced obstacles.The PKR president said the inability of these state governments and private entities in procuring vaccines came with dire consequences.

“In the European Union, when vaccinations were at 3%, there was outrage and uproar to create the initiative to push the number to 17.8% within a month.

“The United States under the new administration moved heaven and earth to accelerate vaccinations, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

Anwar claimed the Perikatan Nasional government was obsessed about fully controlling the process, causing avoidable delays in procurement.

He cited the Selangor government’s long wait to gain approval despite allocating funds to buy more than two million doses for Selangor.

Anwar said the Sarawak government also faced a similar obstacle.

“It has been reported that the Sinopharm vaccine is expected to arrive in May, but since March we are not aware that approval has been granted.

“The Federal Government’s goal should be to ensure all Malaysians have access to safe and effective vaccines as soon as possible.

“However, it does not need to be the entity which buys and administers every single dose, ’’ said Anwar.

He said besides private entities such as foundations and charities willing to support vaccination drives in local communities, many Malaysians were also prepared to pay out of their own pocket to be inoculated at private facilities.

“If we are adopting an all-of-society approach, why can’t we make use of the resources of the entire society?” he asked.

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