KUANTAN: Workers from the hotel sector in Pahang were vaccinated as part of an effort to stimulate the state's economic and support sectors, says the state disaster management committee.
In response to a statement from Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the committee explained that 3,036 individuals, comprising housekeepers, cleaners and maintenance workers from the hotel sector in six districts, were vaccinated and they were not only workers from the Genting Group.
Khairy denied on Wednesday (April 28) that he had ordered that staff members of Genting Group be vaccinated against Covid-19.
He said instead that workers in the Pahang tourism sector were vaccinated by the state Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) only after the first dose of immunisation for frontliners listed in the first phase priority group was completed.
Khairy was responding to certain allegations that cropped up on social media.
The committee, headed by state secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak, said vaccination was given through the state CITF which consists of various state and federal departments as outlined by the national CITF committee.
"We wish to inform that a total of 32,156 people have received injections under phase one targeted at health and vital services frontliners as set by the Federal Government and have successfully achieved the phase one target in full.
"Following that, this committee received 5,319 additional Comirnaty Pfizer BioNTech doses under phase one. This was targeted at other frontliners besides Health Ministry staff, which includes teachers with comorbidities and others," said the committee in a statement on Thursday (April 29).
A total of 2,700 teachers received the vaccine under phase one while a total of 1,120 additional teachers were included in the list of recipients in the additional phase bringing the total number of recipients to 3,820 people, it said.
"Up to 5,600 more Sinovac doses were received to cover recipients from the transport sector, local authorities and clinical and hospital support services. As outlined by the national CITF, this Sinovac vaccine is not suitable for administration to those with comorbidities," said the committee.
From early March, the committee said appointments were set up for these particular Sinovac recipients from Radicare at 540 people, clinical support services (104), transportation sector (1,726), local authorities (102) and the hotel sector (3,036).
The committee said this initiative was taken considering several important factors such as the Genting Highlands cluster involving 563 people and the Jalan Genting cluster that lasted two months.
"This is an effort to stimulate the state's economic and support sector namely tourism and transportation. There is also the need to use hotels as quarantine centres," it said.
It added that the original planned distribution were 1,575 doses only but due to the number of recipients from the land transport sector who qualified but did not respond according to target despite efforts, the number of recipients for the hotel industry was increased to 3,036 people.
"It is to be emphasised that the Pahang CITF, which is also subject to the national CITF, is always committed to the success of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and will ensure that the rightful groups receive the vaccine supplies as outlined," said the committee.