Selangor Sultan says surprised state received over 600,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses only so far, when it has 6.5 million residents

Members of the public queue for Covid-19 swab test at the MBPJ community hall in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya May 24, 2021. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Members of the public queue for Covid-19 swab test at the MBPJ community hall in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya May 24, 2021. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — The Selangor Sultan today expressed surprise that the federal government has so far sent out only more than 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Selangor, instead of the 2.9 million initially claimed.

In a statement, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said the amount of Covid-19 vaccines currently already received by Selangor is “unfair” in light of the state’s population size.

“His Royal Highness was terkejut (shocked) when it was confirmed by the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) that up to June 1, 2021, Selangor only received 615,210 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and not 2.9 million doses as claimed before this.

“His Royal Highness further stressed that it is not fair when the ratio of the total supply of vaccine doses currently is not balanced with the total population of all the residents in Selangor numbering 6.5 million,” the state Ruler said in a statement issued on his behalf by his private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani.

The Selangor Sultan also pointed out that the state is the biggest contributor of Malaysia’s gross domestic product, and that priority should be given to this state.

Earlier in the statement, the Selangor Sultan expressed his sadness at the daily Covid-19 statistics in Selangor with the daily number of new Covid-19 cases always increasing and with the total cumulative number of positive cases in the state at 203,520 as of June 7, along with a worrying death toll of 961 deaths so far in the state up to June 7.

In comparison, the total cumulative number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Malaysia up to June 7 stands at 622,086, while the national death toll so far from Covid-19 up to June 7 is at 3,460.

Based on Malay Mail’s calculations, that would mean 32.7 per cent or almost one-third of the country’s Covid-19 cases so far were detected in Selangor, while 27.7 per cent of the country’s Covid-19 deaths were in Selangor.

Based on the latest census data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia which carries out census surveys every 10 years, the Census 2010 figures showed Selangor to be the most populous state in the country and one of the more densely populated states. Selangor was ranked fifth in population density, after Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Putrajaya and Labuan.

Given the Covid-19 figures in Selangor, the Selangor Sultan expressed his hope that the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) would expedite and increase the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses supplied for Selangor residents.

The Selangor Sultan also expressed a desire for the number of Covid-19 vaccine administration centres (PPV) in Selangor to be increased, especially in rural areas, adding that vaccine jabs through drive-throughs or mobile clinics can speed up the Covid-19 vaccination process and expand the reach of the vaccination.

The Selangor Sultan also expressed disappointment that anti-vaccine groups exist in Selangor, urging the public to not be influenced by such groups and stressing that vaccines can help save lives from the dangerous Covid-19 pandemic.

The Selangor Sultan also praised the Selangor state government for aggressively carrying out free Covid-19 swab tests for the public throughout the state, while also advising those who have already received their Covid-19 vaccination to remain alert and cautious.

The Selangor Sultan also urged everyone to continue to comply with the government’s Covid-19 standard operating procedures, including by staying at home if they do not have important matters to handle outside, wearing face masks, ensuring physical distancing and always ensuring personal hygiene.

Previously, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation was reported by health news portal CodeBlue on June 3 as having provided data stating that 2,909,670 or 2.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been delivered to Selangor as of May 30.

CodeBlue had also cited the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply’s (JKJAV) figures in reporting that 398,029 doses had been administered in Selangor by May 30.

But such a figure provided by the federal government was disputed by the Selangor state government, with Selangor’s Public Health, Unity, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud on June 3 saying that Selangor had only received 615,210 Covid-19 vaccine doses as of June 1 — comprising 434,070 Pfizer doses, 146,440 Sinovac doses, and 34,700 AstraZeneca doses.

She had said then that 425,970 of the Covid-19 vaccine doses received by Selangor had already been administered at that time.

Dr Siti Mariah said she had referred the matter to the Selangor Health Department which had said the Covid-19 vaccine supply received by the state is insufficient, adding that Selangor did not receive 2.9 million doses and that it was impossible for the state to have a surplus of 2.5 million doses.

On June 5, the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) — which is under the JKJAV — issued a statement to clarify the “error” in the government data provided to CodeBlue.

The CITF clarified that 2,909,670 Covid-19 vaccine doses initially provided to CodeBlue had actually included “both stock in government facilities and partially still in the distributor’s warehouse which is located in Selangor and ready for distribution to the whole country”. This meant that not all of the 2.9 million doses had been delivered to Selangor.

The CITF however said that Selangor has the highest number of Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered overall as of June 1 at 615,210 doses, followed by Kuala Lumpur (578,130) and Johor (370,680). The CITF in its June 5 statement did not provide fresh figures for the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered to other states and Federal Territories.

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