GEORGE TOWN, Aug 27 — Inconsistent supply of the COVID-19 vaccines is putting Penang in a challenging situation with the recent surge in new cases, despite its effort in ramping up the capacity of vaccination centres (PPVs).
Penang Manufacturing Industry Advisory Council (PMIAC) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon said in a statement today the state needed to boost vaccine supply to contain the spread of the outbreak.
He said the council hoped the federal government could allocate more vaccines to Penang to speed up the vaccination exercise in the state.
“Given that several on-site PPVs have completed the planned inoculation, some companies wish to offer Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to leverage their on-site PPVs for vaccinations with the increased vaccine supply from federal, instead of closing them down,” he said.
The council also suggested that the federal government should re-evaluate the frequency of the mandatory COVID-19 screenings in the industry due to concerns on the affordability and sustainability of regular testing.
He said periodic testing of the workforce and isolating workers tested positive for COVID-19 is good practice, however, such ruling presents challenges in terms of a limited supply of RTK (Rapid Test Kit)-Antigen test kits to meet both industry and community demands as well as the costs incurred.
He said the council suggested that the manufacturing sector should be allowed to conduct pool procurement of RTK Antigen test kits to ensure sufficient supply, adding that the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) should also subsidise the test kits for the implementation of such mandatory ruling.