Malaysian army offers logistical assistance to bring vaccines to rural areas

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has offered to provide logistical assistance to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to transport COVID-19 vaccines to interior areas nationwide, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said MAF has vehicles needed for the poor road conditions in the interiors.

“If possible, we do not want to bring the communities from the interior areas out into the city, instead we will go to their villages. In some places in the interiors, there may not be any access to get to their areas. So we’ll bring nurses, doctors and such to them so that they can be vaccinated.

“If there is no access at all, we will use helicopters, set up tents at their villages and administer the shots,” he told reporters after visiting the Army drive-through vaccination centre (PPV) at the Sungai Besi Perdana Camp yesterday.

Also present were Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Chief of Defence Force General Tan Sri Affendi Buang.

Meanwhile, Dr Adham said the government was committed to expanding the services of existing PPVs to include the drive-through method as it was cheaper, more orderly and convenient.

He said the country was now in the second phase of the vaccination programme, with a vaccine stock of seven million doses in June and 14 million (doses) in July.

“For the second phase, we are diversifying the PPVs, not only at health clinics, hospitals, halls or business centres. We want to further expand vaccination via the drive-through method like the one conducted by MAF yesterday and today,” he said.