PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's first mega vaccination centre will begin operations on Monday (May 31), with priority being given to some 2,600 senior citizens.
Located at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) in Segambut, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, the 51,000 sq m facility is expected to see more than 5,000 people inoculated against Covid-19 daily.
The number can be ramped up to 8,000 doses daily, said Mitec acting chief executive officer Mala Dorasamy on Thursday (May 27).
"Mitec can also cater to individuals who are physically challenged.
"Medical and event management personnel will manage the centre to ensure proper implementation of the vaccination process," added Ms Dorasamy in a statement on Thursday.
She said staff would ensure strict compliance with standard operating procedures and tight security, with no walk-ins allowed.
Local media had reported overcrowding at several vaccination centres recently, after people who had missed their appointment date turned up hoping to get a shot without having set a new date.
"There will only be one entrance and exit via the south entrance and only confirmed registrations will be admitted. Only those with appointments will be allowed in one mega station that spans across two multi-function halls," Ms Dorasamy said.
On Tuesday, the coordinating minister for the country's vaccination programme Khairy Jamaluddin said the four current vaccine dispensing centres (known as PPVs) in Kuala Lumpur would move to bigger venues to ease overcrowding.
He added that those who had appointments from May 31 to June 6 at the Titiwangsa Stadium and the Manjalara community hall PPVs would be informed of the changes.
He also said the Muhibbah Community Complex and Desa Tasik Sports Complex PPV would move to the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil and would open from June 7.
"It is important for the public and private sectors to come together to help the nation achieve herd immunity and flatten the curve," said Prisma Galeri chairman Abdul Rahman Mamat.
Prisma Galeri manages Mitec and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Naza Corporation Holdings.
The pressure is on for Malaysia to accelerate its vaccination drive, as it battles a third wave of infections that has this week seen cases hitting record highs exceeding 7,000 daily.
It has dispensed more than 2.7 million doses so far, with about 5.3 per cent of its total population having received at least one dose.