KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — The Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council has called on the government to consider implementing the “second dose postponement strategy” in combating the issue of rising COVID-19 cases in the country due to the constraints caused by the shortage of vaccines.
It said in a statement today that the strategy was used by the United Kingdom last November and more countries are implementing the strategy of postponing the second dose, including Singapore and India.
“Our priority now is surely to protect the people in this short period,” it said.
According to the statement also, new research by the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with the Public Health England, found that giving the Pfizer BioNTech booster jab 12 weeks after the first dose compared to three weeks produced a much stronger antibody response.
Meanwhile, Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai said the government should address issues of procurement or contribution of COVID-19 vaccines with caution as they were important “strategic resources” and involved the safety of the public.
He also described the government’s decision to reject an individual’s offer of free vaccines to the Penang government as justified because the person involved refused to show proof of donation or make an official contribution to Malaysia to be handed to the state.
“Contributing vaccines is definitely a good thing. These contributions can ease the country’s burden and expedite (immunisation) as well as benefit the people. However, donors or companies must provide their identities as well as more transparent and sufficient information,” he said at a virtual press conference today.
Lau also called on leaders from the both sides to put aside their political agenda at a time the country was facing a worrying increase in COVID-19 cases, including not politicising issues related to COVID-19 emergency declaration and Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0.
“Several countries, like Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Thailand, have also implemented a lockdown. However, the people of these countries do not blame their governments, instead they cooperate by complying with the policies set by to jointly fight combat the pandemic,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said Gerakan was offering the use of Dewan Wawasan in Menara PGRM here to be used as a vaccine dispensing centre (PPV) for free to facilitate the government’s immunisation efforts.