No need to reopen mega PPVs, say health experts

No need to reopen mega PPVs, say health experts

Two health experts have advised against the reopening of mega vaccination centres (PPVs) despite the increase in Covid-19 cases and the emergence of a new variant Omicron BA.5, which is more infectious.

Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Koh Kar Chai said Putrajaya did not need to reopen mega PPVs as many private general practitioners were still operating at low capacity.

“Therefore, they are still able to handle the increasing number of Covid-19 cases,” he told FMT.

Koh noted the importance of booster doses in the fight against Covid-19, saying Malaysia had achieved almost complete coverage of the first booster dose, especially among adults. However, he said, many were still hesitant to take the second booster dose

Monash University Malaysia’s public health researcher Mark Cheong said there was no need to reopen the PPVs as it would involve high costs and cause crowds.

“If mega PPVs are reopened, the public will be more vulnerable to the risk of infection,” he told FMT.

“The government should work with community primary healthcare providers so that booster doses are easily available in community clinics and pharmacies.”

Cheong said the government needed to display all information clearly and consistently on where booster shots were available, the fees involved and the type of vaccines, especially through social networking platforms.

Previously, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said seven million people had yet to take their booster dose and advised them to do so immediately.

“If mega PPVs are reopened, the public will be more vulnerable to the risk of infection,” he told FMT.

“The government should work with community primary healthcare providers so that booster doses are easily available in community clinics and pharmacies.”

Cheong said the government needed to display all information clearly and consistently on where booster shots were available, the fees involved and the type of vaccines, especially through social networking platforms.

Previously, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said seven million people had yet to take their booster dose and advised them to do so immediately.

Asked if there was a plan to reopen PPVs, he said it was up to the health ministry. FMT

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