GEORGE TOWN: A drive-through Covid-19 vaccination centre (PPV) opens today at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), here.
The drive-through PPV is the first involving an institution of higher learning in the state.
A total 100 second dose vaccine recipients were the first group to be vaccinated.
PPV@USM main committee chairman Professor Dr Md Roslan Hashim said the capacity for the drive-through PPV would be increased to 200 soon.
He said the drive-through PPV was in addition to the static PPV at the university which began operations June 21.
“For now, we will administer 800 doses daily although our capacity is 1,000.
“Of the total, 200 second dose recipients will receive their jabs at the drive-through while the remaining at the static PPV.
“At present, we are still administering the vaccine for those in Phase Two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), particularly those aged 60 and above,” he told newsmen during a visit to the PPV@USM here this morning.
Only cars are allowed to pass through the drive-through PPV.
The individual to be vaccinated must be a passenger, who is a second dose recipient and must agree to be vaccinated through such a method.
After vaccination, the individual will have to be observed for 15-minutes (depending on the first dose).
Besides the drive-through and static PPVs here, USM is also operating another static PPV at its facility in Bertam, Kepala Batas, where 400 doses are administered daily.
The drive-through PPV operates from 9am to 1pm daily while the static PPVs from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
A total 200 volunteers comprising USM’s academic and non-academic staff as well as students have been roped in to help in the operations of the PPVs.
Meanwhile, a former USM staff from the Registration Department, Siti Zahara Md Haniff, 59, said she found the drive-through PPV more effective for the disabled as they need not alight from their vehicles to be vaccinated.
Siti Zahara, who was accompanied by her daughter, said the process was fast and she could avoid contact at the PPV, thus reducing the risk of contracting Covid-19.
“This system is very simple. For someone with physical issues like me, this is very practical. I need not get out of my car and only need to wait for my turn in line. It just takes 10 minutes to complete the whole process.
“When I received my first dose, this system was not in place. At that time, it was difficult for me as I needed help to move around.
“I want to thank everyone for having come up with the idea for people like me,” she said.
For building caretaker, Cheong Fook Choon, 66, who was accompanied by a friend, he said he was happy to learn of USM’s drive-through PPV initiative.
“When I found out about the drive-through PPV, I was delighted. I could sit inside the car to be vaccinated.
“For me, this is much safer as we don’t have to wait with the crowd. I am satisfied,” he added.-NST