PETALING JAYA: Program Imunisasi Industri Covid-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (Pikas), which is the vaccination drive for employees in the manufacturing sector, kicks off Wednesday (June 16) in Selangor.
The programme launch will be witnessed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, accompanied by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is also Senior Minister.
In a statement, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said the vaccination programme will also be initiated in Penang and Johor concurrently.
“This will focus on critical manufacturing sub-sectors. These sub-sectors are critical during the lockdown as they are part of the supply chain of essential products and services including to support the smooth functioning of infrastructure such as the public healthcare system, ” it said.
Miti added that Pikas was implemented in response to calls from industry associations, business chambers of commerce and SMEs to accelerate vaccination among employees to help achieve herd immunity in the country.
“This is imperative to protect workers against Covid-19 and reduce the number of workplace clusters as well as to stop the transmission of infection among workers.
“The implementation of Pikas is crucial to safeguard workers as they constitute a critical component of the economic sector, which is the backbone to ensuring the economy recovers and to remain resilient, ” it said.
Miti assured that employers would be the one to pay for the Covid-19 shots and they are not to transfer the costs to their workers.
“At a video conference with trade union representatives (on June 15), Azmin assured that workers who participate in the programme would not be burdened with additional costs.
“He reiterated that the vaccines are free and that the employers will bear the administrative cost of the vaccination and would not be allowed to deduct this from employees’ salaries, ” it said.
Although the vaccination drive is voluntary, Azmin also urged employers to encourage workers to participate in the Pikas programme.
Miti, however, added that even as the Pikas is implemented, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) for vulnerable groups remains a priority.