GEORGE TOWN, Aug 16 — Some Penang government officials failed to perform their duty when they caused the temporary suspension of several vaccination administration centres (PPVs) in the state, said DAP’s Lim Guan Eng.
The Air Putih assemblyman told the unnamed officials to step up and fill the gap left by the federal government that was more concerned about political interests.
“Pakatan Harapan elected representatives must boldly speak up to make up for state government officials who have failed to perform and to put the rakyat’s interest first,” he said in a statement today.
He claimed that four PPVs have been closed to second-dose vaccine recipients, namely the Balik Pulau sports complex, Balai Rakyat Bayan Baru, Pesta site in Sungai Nibong and Dewan Millennium in Kepala Batas.
“Vaccine appointments for next week have been rescheduled to the following week because of a disruption in the supply of the Pfizer vaccine to the state beginning on August 12,” the Bagan MP said.
He said the Penang One Hope Centre PPV in Juru will also stop giving out first dose vaccination from Wednesday due to vaccine shortages.
The Loh Guan Lye Hospital PPV has similarly stopped administering second doses, which have been delayed seven days due to vaccine supply disruption.
“The lack of mobile PPVs in some state constituencies has also raised questions of double standards,” he said.
He asked Putrajaya what had happened to the purchase of an additional eight million Sinovac vaccines from Pharmaniaga which was supposed to be delivered by this month.
“If the federal government cannot disclose how many more PPVs in the state are suspending vaccination services pending logistic management of vaccine delivery being sorted out, the state government officials cannot remain silent to prevent being labelled as no different from the federal government,” Lim said.
He said Penang is targeting to reach 100 per cent vaccination rate of its adult population by September but Penangites hope to achieve it much earlier before Merdeka Day.
“There is no reason for Penang’s delay when the Klang Valley has already achieved 104.2 per cent as compared to Penang’s 69.5 per cent on August 14,” he said.
He said the daily infection rates in Penang are still high at 1,111 with a record 24 deaths so there is a high demand for vaccines.
“The public is angry when their vaccination appointments are deferred or suspended,” he said.
He added that the people have expressed unhappiness at the complete silence on the deferment of vaccine appointments from the relevant authorities.
He called on the state officials to take the lead and show what transparency and accountability can do for the interests of the people of Penang.
* The report was amended following clarifications from Lim Guan Eng