Penang seeks federal govt’s permission to obtain own vaccine

18 May 2021 / 22:42 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang is again requesting that the federal government allow the state government to obtain its own supply of Covid-19 vaccine.

Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow said Penang was offered a contribution of two million doses of vaccine by a local private sector company in February but the state government did not get the permission of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to accept it.

He said an official request from the Penang government through the State Secretary’s Office to MOH to obtain the contribution was rejected in a reply dated March 12 this year.

He said, in the reply MOH said the federal government had drafted and implemented the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“I hope the federal government will be more consistent in giving approval to states wanting to obtain vaccine supplies,’’ he told reporters here, today.

If given approval, he said the vaccines would greatly benefit the residents of Penang who were indeed hoping to get vaccinated promptly when the Covid-19 pandemic is seen to be increasing.

“The offer of China-produced Sinovac vaccines by the private sector company is still open and the state government is currently waiting for the consent of the federal government to obtain them,’’ he said.

Chow said the vaccine contribution could also help save federal government costs.

He said the vaccine allocated for Penang could be distributed to other states which would indirectly help speed up the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme initiative. — Bernama

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