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Covid-19 Vaccine: Not Mandatory & Employers Need To Pay, Say Ministers

Covid-19 Vaccine: Not Mandatory & Employers Need To Pay, Say Ministers

The public can soon sign up on MySejahtera to be vaccinated

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Government officials reveal that Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination program would not be mandatory and that employers would need to cover the costs of their worker’s shots.

Science, Technology & Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin explains that the National Vaccination Plan (NVP), set to begin in February, would only be given out to Malaysians who volunteer and sign up to get it.

READ MORE: Covid-19 Vaccinations Start Next Month: Frontliners, High Risk Individuals To Go First, Says Minister

He was quoted as saying that those who wish to get vaccinated would need to register themselves through a feature on the MySejahtera mobile application and provide their consent.

Checks by TRP show that the feature is not available on the app yet.

Health Ministry: Over 9,000 Covid-positive cases detected via MySejahtera  app | Malaysia | Malay Mail
(Ahmad Zamzahuri/Malay Mail)

He also mentions that details of the NVP would be finalised on Thursday (7 January). The NVP is said to provide the public with information on when, where and how to attain the vaccine as well as the logistics of the program.

Employers to pay for Covid-19 vaccination

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that it was compulsory for employers to cover the cost and fees of their employee’s Covid-19 vaccinations and screenings.

He explained that the matter was in line with the laws specified in:

  • Section 24(F) of the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 which requires employers to provide adequate housing and amenities for their workers and dependents
  • Section 11 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 which prescribes that measures can be taken by a minister to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

The act stipulates that all foreign workers must undergo Covid-19 screening, with the employer bearing the fees, costs and charges for the test.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan via Berita Harian

However, it appears that the Minister’s statement implies that vaccination for foreign workers will be undertaken by their employers.

Khairy Jamaluddin had earlier mentioned that the government was looking into the prospect of providing free vaccinations for forign workers to ensure the safety of the country.

The minister also shared his dismay that employers were not willing to pay for foreign workers vaccinations saying that it might be an obstacle for them to do so.

By law, the government had required all foreign workers in Malaysia to undergo mandatory Covid-19 testings, paid for by their respective employers.

Free for locals

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced in 2020 that the Covid-19 vaccine will be provided for free to all Malaysian citizens, however, foreigners would have to pay to receive the shot.

Khairy Jamaluddin had also said that the vaccine should be made available to everyone at affordable prices.

A study by YouGov also revealed that 82% of the population were ready and waiting to be vaccinated.

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