Penang’s Covid-19 booster schedule could be sped up, says chief minister

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during a press conference at Komtar in George Town August 30, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during a press conference at Komtar in George Town August 30, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Oct 27 — The Penang state government is calling for the rollout of the Covid-19 booster shots to be sped up in the state.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said as of October 26, only 7,808 recipients in Penang had received the booster shot.

He said the state Health Department is closely monitoring the effectiveness of the booster dose that is being given out now.

“The state feels that the administering of the booster dose should be sped up for the safety and health of Penangites,” he said in a statement today.

He said the dispensing of the booster dose will also ensure that there will not be a sudden increase in Covid-19 cases in the state involving hospitalisation compared to now.

Currently, he said booster dose appointments for those eligible will be confirmed through the MySejahtera app and they will be dispensed at vaccination centres involving 46 private clinics and eight private hospitals.

Chow, along with the state legislative assembly speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang, the state secretary and the lineup of state executive councillors received their booster dose at the Penang Hospital earlier today.

Only four state excos, namely Phee Boon Poh, Jagdeep Singh Deo, Yeoh Soon Hin and Soon Lip Chee, have not received their dose due to a variety of reasons, such as the six-month gap with the second dose had not yet passed, health issues or unavoidable commitments.

Meanwhile, on the progress of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for adolescents in Penang, Chow said about 89.7 per cent have received their first dose while 75 per cent have received their second dose.

“To further increase the vaccination rate for adolescents, the state government together with the state Health Department, state Education Department and the state Islamic Affairs Department have reached out to parents and students through calls, direct visits and health promotions through parents-teachers associations from time to time,” he said.

He said the state’s daily cases are seeing a downward trend but the state government continued to work with the state Health Department to monitor the hospitalisation and death rate.

He said it is the state’s priority to pay special attention to the capacity of hospitals in the state and sufficient medical equipment including the smooth operations of low risk treatment and quarantine centres.

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