PORT KLANG: Acknowledging the importance of the sector, the government has launched the first round of the Transportation Sector Vaccination Programme covering maritime, aviation and land transport services.
The launch was held at the Port Klang Authority Sports and Recreation Club here on Friday (June 25) attended by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Dr Wee told a press conference later that his ministry launched the exercise in collaboration with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry as well as the Health Ministry.
"The Transport Ministry received approval from the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) on June 21 to implement the vaccination programme for more than 51,500 frontliners in the transport sector, namely seafarers, port workers, airport personnel, and those in land and rail transport services," he said.
According to Dr Wee, the vaccination venue has the capacity to vaccinate 1,000 recipients a day.
The vaccine is supplied by the government while industry players involved in the programme will pay for setting up the vaccination centres.
Dr Wee added that the Port Klang Authority will take on the task of supervising port workers while the seafarers will be overseen by the Central Mercantile Marine Fund through the Marine Department of Malaysia.
"This approach will benefit 18,596 or 53% supervisors and port workers in the central region who are eligible to get vaccinated in this first phase.
"The eligibility of the recipients is determined by the Health Ministry and takes into consideration various factors, including pregnant or nursing mothers, and other medical factors," he said.
There are 59,155 supervisors and port workers in Malaysia currently.
Friday's launch of the vaccination programme for the maritime sector is also special as it is being held in conjunction with the Day of the Seafarer. which falls on June 25.
"Seafarers, who are the backbone of the shipping sector, should be given priority as the movement of goods and supplies for the country depends on a sustainable shipping and port sector," said Dr Wee.
He added that the transport sector vaccination exercise will take place for aviation sector workers at the KLIA main terminal from July 5 and cover 22,243 airport, airline and cargo workers.
"For the land transport sector that involves public land transport, a few PPVs will also be opened at several locations throughout the country to ensure that 19,259 rail attendants and bus drivers are vaccinated soon," he said.
The Transport Ministry and CITF were also coordinating the vaccination programme for an estimated 355,064 taxi and e-hailing drivers, bus drivers and p-hailing riders.
"This programme will be implemented at public PPVs and the government will fully bear the cost," said Dr Wee.