The government has introduced an initiative dubbed the Public-Private Partnership Industrial COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) to cater for the manufacturing sector, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
MITI said PIKAS will be launched as “Phase Four” of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), adding that participation would be voluntary for companies and employees.
The Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Guarantee (JKJAV) previously announced that the NIP would have three phases, including the already-delayed Phase Three meant for the general adult population.
Today, MITI said it has been tasked to coordinate the immunisation for workers in the manufacturing sector, adding that several other ministries will also be responsible for vaccination of employees in their respective sectors.
“The government is committed to ensuring employees have free vaccines under PIKAS, supported by the private sector in administering vaccines utilising private medical practitioners, implemented nationwide including vaccination at factory premises,” said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He said PIKAS will begin on June 16 with on-site vaccination at designated factories and industrial locations, adding that companies in critical manufacturing sub-sectors like electrical and electronics, food processing, iron and steel, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), oil and gas and rubber products would be prioritised for vaccination.
The minister said that while vaccination of vulnerable groups would remain the government’s priority in the NIP, PIKAS was imperative to protect workers against the risk of infection.
“These sectors are critical in supporting the supply chain of essential products and services as well as the construction, maintenance and smooth functioning of critical infrastructures including utilities and public healthcare system,” he said.
He said that MITI would conduct additional sessions with industry associations and business chambers of commerce with regard to coordinating the implementation process.
He added that priority of vaccination of companies will be based on several considerations including company’s location in a COVID-19 red zone and that they would be subjected to terms and conditions that include employees having registered with MySejahtera under NIP.
“Employers shall not deduct administration fees paid to the private medical general practitioners and for usage of private-run vaccine administration centres from employee’s salary including in cases where the employee is no longer employed by the company before full immunisation of the employee,” warned Azmin. — Malay Mail