Khairy: Govt to issue list of frontliners eligible for Covid-19 vaccine after reports of queue-jumpers

02-Mar-2021 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The government will issue a “guideline” soon that provides a clearer definition of who are the frontliners eligible for the first phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NICP).

Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology (Mosti) Khairy Jamaluddin said there was a need for a definitive guideline following reports that some politicians and their aides were given access to the vaccines last week.

The task force overseeing the programme had designated the first phase to mostly cater to health workers, with exceptions made for elected representatives and also teachers as schools began to resume this week.

“The task force has decided to issue a guideline that would provide a definitive list of who are the frontline workers eligible for the first phase of the NICP,” Khairy told a media briefing after attending the immunisation task force meeting here.

Complaints of politicians and their aides of cutting the line for the Covid-19 vaccine made the rounds on social media following its rollout last week.

Malay Mail was told that politicians, especially ministers, could bring up to five of their officers to receive the vaccine with the approval of the officer in charge of the district health, with a bottle of Pfiser vaccine containing six doses, which need to be administered right away upon its unsealing.

But several of the ministers were said to have demanded more, bringing in extra people without prior announcement that led to the remaining doses being wasted.

State lawmakers were also among those incriminated by these allegations.

Certain state executive councillors and their aides were said to have been listed during the programme’s launch at the state level despite not being included for the first phase, Khairy said.

But elected officials are among those included in the list, the minister then clarified.

“For instance I got a report of officers to (a) state exco member who was supposedly on the list,” the minister noted.

“Officers of ministers, officers of state excos, officers of menteri besar or even political secretaries are not included in the list so don’t try and jump the queue.

“Family members of elective representatives, spouses are not in the list so don’t even try to register, don’t try and jump the queue,” he added.

News about the vaccine queue-jumpers have since sparked public uproar and fuelled scrutiny of the registration system put in place by the government.

Khairy, however, said that the incidents were more than likely a result of confusion or a case of unethical officers making impromptu attempts to cut the line, and not so much caused by defects in the registration process.

But he still pledged stern action should the allegations be true and vowed to investigate “every single” claim.

“I have been receiving quite a lot of emails from anonymous whistleblowers and we will be investigating every single complaint that I’ve received.”


Category: Malaysia

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