DAP MP urges govt to prioritise first dose to ramp up vaccination rate

Senior citizens wait to receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at the MSU Medical Centre in Shah Alam May 25, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Senior citizens wait to receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at the MSU Medical Centre in Shah Alam May 25, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — DAP lawmaker Yeo Bee Yin today urged the government to rethink its vaccination distribution strategy and consider adopting the United Kingdom’s (UK) approach in prioritising the first dose.

Yeo said that UK was able to reach the average vaccination rate of about 150,000 doses per day in the first month of its vaccination rollout, 400,000 doses in the second month and by mid of the third month 500,000 doses per day on average. 

“They prioritised the first dosage to as many people as possible with more than 90 per cent of the total dosage administered daily being the first dosage until they entered into third month, when it dropped below 90 percent.

“The population that received the first dose of vaccination grows linearly for the initial three months than at slower growth from the fourth month,” she said via her Facebook posting.

The former energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister pointed out that prioritising the first dose in the first phase of vaccination distribution has worked for the UK in terms of reducing its positive cases significantly.

“The number of positive cases dropped 40, 75 and 85 percent from the peak respectively as the percentage of the population received first dose vaccination increased from 10 to 20 to 30 per cent.

“The percentage of the second dosage only started increasing from the middle of the third month and it helped to further reduce the rate of growth of new cases,” she explained using charts on UK vaccination data. 

Comparing the UK data with Malaysia’s vaccination rollout, Yeo said that the country cumulatively only administered 1,578,225 first dose and 905,271 second dose, which is about 64 and 36 per cent of total vaccine administered respectively as of May 24. 

“With 150,000 dose per day, we can reach the first dose of vaccination to 20 per cent of the population in just one month (taking into account the 1.58 million that already receive the first dose) and that can potentially help to reduce our positive cases significantly. 

“This is particularly important as our number of new cases is increasing exponentially and reached record high again yesterday.

“We are desperately in need of quick action. Every week of delay in vaccinations will literally cost us hundreds of lives,” she added. 

Yeo also noted that government should take into account the type of vaccines being administered and manufacturers’ recommendations when considering the suggested strategy. 


 

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