Vaccination going at snail’s pace in Penang

Gift of life: Volunteers donating blood during the Covid-19 awareness campaign at New World Park in George Town, Penang. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Despite a target 1.3 million people or 70% of its population, the Penang government is seeing less than 1% of the number being vaccinated daily.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the slow process of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme could be due to insufficient vaccines and the low number of vaccination centres in the state.

He said there were supposed to be 10 vaccination centres in Penang but only five had opened so far.

“Our daily target was 7,500 people across 10 centres in Penang.

“But with only five centres, we only managed to reach about 2,000 per day, as one centre can only serve 500 to 600 per day.

“The initial target was 10 centres operating from 8am to 9pm, on weekends as well.

“As it is the Ramadan month now, centres will stop operating by 5pm and close over the weekends.

“It will take a long time to reach our target. As it is, we have not even reached 1% yet. We started off slower because of the fewer number of centres available, ” he added.

“The second phase of the vaccination is in full swing and we want to vaccinate as many people as possible, ” Chow said after launching a Covid-19 awareness campaign at New World Park in George Town yesterday.

Only 45% of the target vaccinated population had registered for the vaccination programme, he said.

The campaign aimed to create awareness and increase the number of registrations to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, Chow said.

Organised by the Transfer Road and Argyll Road Village Community Management Council – in collaboration with four constituencies in Padang Kota – the campaign also held a blood donation drive and free health screening with the help of the Penang Adventist Hospital.

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