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Selangor sultan says he is 'shocked' that only 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to the populous state

Selangor sultan says he is 'shocked' that only 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to the populous state

Selangor's ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. (Photo: Facebook/Selangor Royal Office).

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor’s ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah expressed shock that the state had only received 615,210 COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Jun 1.

In a statement released by the ruler’s private secretary Mohamad Munir Bani on Tuesday (Jun 8), the sultan said the distribution ratio of vaccine doses was disproportionate to Selangor’s total population of 6.5 million.

"His Royal Highness was shocked when the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF)  confirmed that until Jun 1, Selangor had only received 615,210 Covid-19 vaccine doses and not 2.9 million as stated before this. 

“His Royal Highness would also like to remind that Selangor is the largest contributor to Malaysia’s gross domestic product, hence priority should be given to this state,” the statement read. 

Previously, CITF said that Selangor had received 2.9 million doses as of May 30, but the state had only administered 398,029 doses by the same date. 

READ: Khairy dismisses talk of Malaysian federal government blocking states' COVID-19 vaccine procurement

The taskforce later acknowledged the data error on Jun 5, clarifying that the 2.9 million included both vaccine stocks in government facilities and the distributor's Selangor-based warehouse, which would be distributed to the whole country. 

In the Tuesday statement, the ruler also called for the number of vaccine distribution centres in Selangor to be increased, especially in the state’s rural areas. He opined that drive-thru vaccination facilities or mobile clinics could help increase vaccine coverage. 

Sultan Sharafuddin also expressed disappointment and displeasure on the existence of anti-vaccine groups in the state.

“His Royal Highness hopes that people will not be easily influenced by such deviated beliefs,” the statement said, adding Sultan Sharafuddin worried that if there were those who refused to be vaccinated, the aim of achieving herd immunity by year-end would not be reached, placing the country in an even more dangerous pandemic crisis. 

READ: Parents in Malaysia fret over academic progress amid prolonged school closure, online learning

The sultan also praised the state government’s aggressive efforts in carrying out free COVID-19 swab tests, and advised citizens who had been vaccinated to continue being vigilant.

“His Royal Highness hopes everyone will appreciate the frontliners’ sacrifice and give their full cooperation in the effort to control and destroy the COVID-19 pandemic in this country,” the statement said.

People queue for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur on May 31, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan) ​​​​​​​

On Monday, Malaysia's COVID-19 numbers dipped below 6,000 for the first time in nearly three weeks. A record high of 9,020 cases was reported on May 29, before the country went into total lockdown on Jun 1. 

Tuesday's 5,566 new cases brought the national total to 627,652. 

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Source: CNA/vt

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