MB: Response to Selvax tremendous

PETALING JAYA: More than 50,000 companies have registered over two million of their personnel for vaccination under the Selangor state government’s vaccine programme (Selvax), says Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Amirudin said Selvax received an overwhelming response from the private sector, adding that those registered under the programme would be given CoronaVac (manufactured by Sinovac Biotech).

“The response has been tremendous,” he said when launching the Selvax vaccination centre (PPV) at Tropicana Gardens Mall here yesterday.

Amirudin said CoronaVac was chosen by Selangor as its handling is easier – it only needs to be stored in temperatures ranging from 2-8°C

“At the same time, we are also trying to identify other brands from other suppliers. But I have to say discussions with Sinovac have been very easy,” he said, while also denying that Selangor “diverted” supplies from the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme to meet the demands of Selvax.

Amirudin said the CoronaVac doses were acquired following negotiations to obtain 2.5 million doses since January this year, and no doubt would complement Putrajaya’s vaccination programme target in getting most people immunised by end of the year.

Amirudin said of the 2.5 million doses under Selvax, 500,000 had been allocated for the community and the rest for the industrial sector. He also said Selangor was considering giving vaccines to teenagers aged 12 to 17 if there were extra doses once Selangor has vaccinated the majority of eligible recipients.

“We are also prepared to give to other states once we meet our herd immunity target,” said Amirudin.

He also assured the private sector that the government was not profiting from the sale of vaccines, as the costs that employers pay only covers management costs and the vaccines were subsidised by the state government.

“The issue does not arise. I believe that industry players understand that if they are still forced to remain inoperable, it will incur big losses,” he added.

Tropicana Corporation Bhd group executive director Jared Ethan Ang, who was at the press conference, said the Tropicana Gardens Mall (TGM) was the largest PPV under Selvax and was capable of administering up to 16,000 jabs a day soon.

"The Tropicana Gardens Mall Convention Centre is 50,000sqft with MRT access and lots of parking,” said Ang, who also stressed the importance of being vaccinated, adding that his company planned to inoculate its workforce of 2,000.

“We have to think about everyone around us, the security guards, the cleaning ladies and the tea ladies,” said Ang.

“I don’t want to lose anyone or their family members to Covid-19.”

TGM started as a PPV by dispensing 500 jabs last Saturday, 1,000 on Sunday, before progressing to 4,000 yesterday.

“This is a government and private initiative, where we worked hand in hand to meet the Prime Minister and Mentri Besar’s objective, which is to vaccinate Malaysia as fast as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Nur Izzati Naziha Hazizi, who was there for her jab, said she did not have to wait long for her appointment date.

“Mine was ordered by my company, and it took less than a week,” said Nur Izzati, who added most of her friends are keen on getting vaccinated, given the high rates of Covid-19 in Selangor.

“They are no longer anti-vaxxers,” she quipped.

At the same time, human resource executive at SME Bank, Khairil Aziz, 35, praised the staff manning the TGM PPV for being fast and efficient.

“It was less than 20 minutes for me,” he said.

“Parking was easy as well. I urge all Malaysians to vaccinate soon so we can achieve herd immunity.”

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