Malaysia to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations as new infections surge

Reuters

Posted at May 30 2021 03:54 PM

Malaysia to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations as new infections surge 1
Malaysian Muslim cleric Rafie Zainal and his team members prepare a body of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) victim before burial at a hospital mortuary, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 23, 2021. Picture taken May 23, 2021. Lim Huey Teng, Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is planning to set up more mega vaccination centers and get private doctors to join immunization efforts, after five consecutive days of record daily coronavirus infections.

Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told a virtual news briefing on Sunday that the government will set up another five mega vaccination centers around the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and are considering two in the northern state of Penang and in the southern state of Johor.

The government will also train general practitioners to administer COVID-19 vaccines, he said, noting some vaccines need to be handled and stored differently than usual vaccines.

"Before this, there was no need (to involve the private healthcare sector) because the vaccine supply was not a lot. As the supply increases, we want to facilitate private clinics, (general practitioner) clinics, private hospitals to roll out the vaccines via our program, for free," he said.

The private vaccination centers could administer a total of 40,000 doses a day, he said, adding that the government aims to raise daily vaccinations to 150,000 doses. It has reached 107,000 doses a day this week.

Nearly 6 percent of the country's 32 million people have been vaccinated, according to the website of the governmental Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply.

Khairy said the government is also looking to allow drive-through vaccination centers in the country, after guidelines are firmed up.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday announced a nationwide total lockdown from June 1-14 in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Malaysia reported 6,999 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total infections in the country to 565,533.

New cases and deaths rose to records on Saturday.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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