GEORGE TOWN: Penang MCA has questioned the DAP-led state government as to why they did not purchase Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to speed up the vaccination process in the state.
Penang MCA vice-chairman and Youth chief Lim Swee Bok said the daily Covid-19 cases in the state were on the rise.
“People are facing serious challenges and we would like to know why the state government is not buying Covid-19 vaccine to speed up the vaccination process.
“We urge the state government to work hand-in-hand with the Federal Government for the people and leave aside political differences.
“By getting everyone vaccinated, we hope to return to normal life as soon as possible," said Lim in a press conference at the state MCA headquarters on Monday (July 26), adding that more vaccine meant the state government should put in more effort to buy vaccines from relevant authorities.
He pointed out that this is a chance for state governments to contribute back to the rakyat who have voted for them.
“Earlier, the Penang government had urged the federal government to allow the purchase of vaccines for the people.
“Now that the federal government has allowed it, they should do so and purchase vaccines for the people to increase the state’s vaccination rate,” he said.
Also present were state MCA liaison committee secretary Yeoh Chin Kah and Penang MCA spokesman and Bukit Bendera division chairman Tang Heap Seng.
Pharmaniaga Bhd had supplied 12 million doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to the government and the final batch was supplied on July 21, which was four-and-a-half months earlier than the original contractual schedule.
On July 23, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a total of 14 million doses of the Covid-19 Sinovac vaccine will be sold by Pharmaniaga to interested states and private companies from this month until September.
He said the sale of the vaccine directly to interested parties had received the approval from the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), could further expedite efforts to achieve herd immunity earlier than scheduled.
Earlier, Pharmaniaga chief executive officer Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the states that have expressed interest in buying the Sinovac vaccine from Pharmaniaga include Selangor, Pahang, Perak, Sarawak, Sabah, Johor and Negri Sembilan.
He said the total demand for the Sinovac vaccine from the seven states involved was five to six million doses, with Selangor having made the highest application at almost 2.5 million doses.