With workplace-related cases contributing to a large majority of Covid-19 cases, it’s probably time for more companies to get vaccines for their workers!
If you ask most Malaysians right now, they will probably tell you that we’ve been in the new normal for far too long. Every single one of us yearns to return to the time when our movements weren't restricted and our health wasn’t in danger just by being close to other people.
However, with daily Covid-19 cases and deaths soaring to record highs, an active role has to be played by everyone in the community. For now, everyone needs to adhere to all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) and also get vaccinated.
However, not everyone can avoid close contact with other individuals as they still have to come to their workplace. This is a worrying scenario as the majority of local Covid-19 cases are workplace-related. According to the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), a total of 887 workplace-related clusters were reported from January 2021 to 26 June 2021. Furthermore, for the month of June 2021 alone, 91 per cent of the clusters in Selangor were workplace-related. With this worrying trend in place, it’s probably time for more companies to get vaccines for their workers!
Why do more people need to be vaccinated?
Vaccines train our immune systems to create proteins that fight disease, known as ‘antibodies’. This is similar to what would happen when we are exposed to a disease. However, vaccines work without making us sick. Vaccinated people are protected from getting the disease in question and passing on the pathogen, breaking any chains of transmission.
Herd immunity, also known as 'population immunity', is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through the previous infection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) supports achieving 'herd immunity' through vaccination, not by allowing disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths.
To safely achieve herd immunity against Covid-19, a substantial proportion of the population would need to be vaccinated. The estimated amount is 80% of the population. As of 21 July 2021, only 32.4% of Malaysians have received their first dose while 15.1% have received their second dose (fully vaccinated).
How do companies get vaccines for their workers?
With workplace-related clusters contributing a high percentage of daily cases, it’s only logical to ramp up vaccination for those who have to come to the workplace. Companies can help accelerate this process by getting vaccines on behalf of their workers. They can do this by registering at one of the following programmes:
Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS)
Selangor Covid-19 Vaccination Programme (SelVAX)
What is PIKAS?
PIKAS is aimed at employees of companies and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has been tasked to coordinate the immunisation program for the economic sector.
Vaccines will be provided for free by the government but companies will have to provide the usage of worksites, and convention and exhibition centres as Vaccine Administration Centre (PPV). This will include the services of both medical, non-medical and security personnel.
To register, companies can download the application form from the MITI website. The completed form may be submitted by the respective industry associations and business chambers of commerce to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is SelVAX?
SelVAX is is the Selangor State’s efforts to complement the Program Imunisasi Covid-19 Kebangsaan (PICK) to achieve the target of herd immunity. It comprises a program to speed up the inoculation process of target groups identified by the State (State Program) and a program to protect the State’s economy which contributes majorly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (Industry Program).
The Industry Program is a paid program open to companies voluntarily and focused to inoculate at least 1,000,000 workers. However, employers are to bear the costs of this vaccination programme and employees shall bear no cost whatsoever.
If the number of employees for a company is more than 1,500, vaccination could be administered at the workplace (subject to suitability of location). If the number is below 1,500, then vaccination will take place at a Vaccine Administration Centre (PPV) or a designated panel clinic.
You can register at the SELANGKAH Vax Website (https://vax.selangkah.my).