KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — The Malaysian Shopping Malls Association (PPK Malaysia) today expressed disappointment over the backlash against the RM50 fee it advised malls to impose on workers for Covid-19 vaccination, stressing the payment is not to pay for the vaccines.
It reiterated that the RM50 payment per person was for the charges the Health Ministry’s ProtectHealth Corporation imposed to provide doctors, nurses, medical officers to administer the vaccines, and a nominal commitment fee to avoid no-shows.
PPK Malaysia said the actual cost per head for the vaccination exercise was about RM100 to RM150 per dose, most of which was being absorbed by its members.
“We are aghast to note the misinformation in recent press reports that our association has proposed ‘that workers pay a small fee of RM50 for on-site vaccinations after malls agreed to subsidise the cost of the exercise’.
“However, we did advise our malls to bill their tenants or shops a standard amount of RM50 as a subsidised charge as this will work as a commitment for participants to turn up.
“We are also completely at a loss why the RM50 charge is being stigmatised where, to our knowledge, there are several other much higher ‘charges’ being offered by other third parties to different sectors of the economy,” PPK Malaysia claimed.
Breaking down the costs, PPK Malaysia said RM30 would be channeled towards costs of administering the vaccine at RM15 each dose, and the remaining RM20 was from two RM10 payments as a commitment fee, which would also contribute to the operational costs of running the vaccination centre (PPV).
“Unfortunately, we are too much aware that in our society when things are offered to be completely free-of-charge, people who have pre-registered may not turn up because they do not have any commitments.
“This will ultimately result in a waste of the precious vaccine due to no show, thereby depriving others of the opportunity for early vaccination and/or the vaccines may even go to waste,” it said concerning the RM10 commitment fee.
The association then underscored how their programme, despite the supposed misinterpretations of its costings, has received encouraging response from industry players, while stressing how it remains fully voluntary.
“The fact that more than 60 malls and most of the mall tenants have enthusiastically signed up to participate is a clear testimony of the interest to join this noble cause, both morally and monetarily.
“It must also be noted that the programme is offered solely on an optional basis targeted towards shopping front liners, not the public, and there is completely no coercion to participate except that we strongly encourage all malls to arrange for their staff and the employees of their business or shops to be vaccinated as this is one of the key measures to achieve herd immunity and start the recovery journey,” PPK Malaysia wrote.
This after the Association had received negative feedback over the RM50 fee it recommended mall managements to charge staff to obtain vaccine shots, with many initially assuming the cost as a fee to procure the vaccine themselves.
PPK Malaysia had previously come out to say that the RM50 fee is not a form of profiteering, but as mentioned, would be channelled towards covering the operational costs incurred by engaging health professionals for the programme.