KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) says it is prepared to run another effort similar to the Public-Private Partnership Industrial COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) to increase the number of COVID-19 booster shots among workers in the manufacturing sector.
Senior International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said he would however, get further details regarding the matter from the Health Ministry (MOH) before proceeding with its implementation.
This includes the MOH’s readiness in terms of available vaccine supply, amenities and facilities and the appropriate time to implement the programme.
“A total of 1.8 million workers from this sector were successfully vaccinated under PIKAS, which was implemented last year.
“Based on that experience, we can proceed with another similar programme for booster shots with the participation of the private sector.
“This is more effective because all the sectors will focus on the programme being implemented compared to now where workers take their booster shots on their own,” he told Bernama after officiating the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Muslim Women’s Welfare Board, Nakhoda Branch in Batu Caves today.
On steps already taken by MITI to accelerate booster shots among manufacturing sector workers, he said the industry is currently supportive of the idea to implement the programme as it would help to improve productivity.
“If workers are not given booster shots, there is a possibility that the company might have to shut down temporarily even though the government is not implementing lockdowns.
“But targetted closure is a possibility if the companies do not meet the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the MOH. So, the availability of booster shots will help companies to continue with their operations,” he added.