What’s the vaccination plan for aged care homes?

AS with many other groups, it has been a very challenging year for the aged care sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Association for Residential Aged Care Operators of Malaysia (AgeCOpe) supports the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and calls on all stakeholders to work together to ensure frontliners and at-risk people get their jabs as soon as possible.

As at Feb 19,68.3% of the 1,043 Covid-19 deaths were among those aged 60 years or over, and the mortality rate for this group is 13.8%, or over 10 times higher than the national average of 1.2%. Patients with multiple comorbidities are more likely to succumb to the virus.

We would like to appeal to the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee to allow more time for both licensed and unlicensed care homes to pre-register for the Covid-19 vaccine, provide an onsite vaccine administration plan, and allocate at least 30,000 doses for aged care home staff and residents under Phase I of the immunisation programme. As operators of aged care centres, old folks’ homes and nursing homes, we believe Covid-19 vaccination is one of our most important tools in battling the pandemic, apart from regular testing as well as effective infection prevention and control measures.

AgeCOpe looks forward to working with the Health Ministry, the Social Welfare Department, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, as well as all related federal, state and local government agencies, departments and task forces to ensure our premises are safe and compliant with the SOP. We also commend the government’s plan to have in place a compensation scheme for those who may experience adverse side effects from the vaccination.

The well-being of our employees and residents remains top priority as we all work together to protect citizens and non-citizens alike from the pandemic.

DELREN TERRENCE DOUGLAS ,President, Association for Residential Aged Care Operators of Malaysia (AgeCOpe)

Note: This letter is endorsed by the following organisations: Malaysian Research Institute on Ageing, Universiti Putra Malaysia; Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine; Gerontological Association of Malaysia; National Council of Senior Citizens Organisations Malaysia; Persatuan Kebajikan Usiamas Malaysia; Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society; Third Age Media Association.

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