PETALING JAYA: Private healthcare providers ought to be involved in the upcoming Covid-19 vaccine programme so more people can be covered in less time, former prime minister Najib Razak said today.
He said the government’s current target of vaccinating 75% of the population by February next year through 605 vaccine centres was “slow” compared with other countries planning to hit the same target by July.
“It is a big mistake if 7,000 private clinics and private hospitals around the country are not roped in. Nurses at clinics and hospitals are already used to giving all sorts of injections.
“Furthermore, most people know their nearest clinics. Although we have government health clinics and hospitals which offer the shots for free, some don’t mind paying more to have their shots at private clinics.
“There is no reason why the government cannot allow the private sector to give Covid-19 shots when they are allowed to carry out swabs,” he said in a Facebook post today.
Najib said if private healthcare providers shared the burden of vaccinating the public, then the burden on the 605 government centres can be reduced and herd immunity could be achieved in a shorter time.
Today, the government announced that the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine will arrive on Feb 21, with shots to be given out by Feb 26.
It was reported that the first phase of vaccinations, from February to April, will be for the 500,000 frontliners who are directly involved in the fight against Covid-19.
The second phase, from April to August, will target the high-risk group, while the third phase, from May to February 2022, involves those aged 18 and above.
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