Penang scraps plan to buy vaccine

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Penang has abandoned plans to procure its own Covid-19 vaccines as supply is no longer an issue, with the state government aiming to ramp up the daily vaccination rate to between 25,000 and 30,000 by July.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the federal government had made it clear that supply is not an issue any more and had allocated an additional 500,000 doses of vaccine for the state.

Zhafaran Nasib/The Star

“Therefore, the next task for the state is to ensure that we have enough manpower as well as to add more vaccine delivery centres (PPV) to achieve the goal. We need to sort out these two factors and manage the resources well.

“The best-case scenario is finishing this by August or September this year, but the worst case is by October,” he told a press conference after visiting the Spice Arena PPV for AstraZeneca vaccine today.

He said that in Penang there are six private hospital vaccination centres which aim to administer 50 to 200 doses each daily and 13 general practitioner vaccination centres which can administer up to 90 doses each weekly.

Commenting on the Spice Arena PPV operations, which start today until July 27, Chow said 112,350 Penangites registered for the opt-in AstraZeneca vaccine, with 31,928 aged above 60 and the remaining 80,422 aged 18 to 59.

The Spice Arena PPV, which will operate from 8am to 9pm, Mondays to Fridays, and 8am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, will administer 1,000 shots a day for the first three days and increase it to 3,000 a day on weekdays and 2,000 on weekends.