As of today, the Selangor government has opened registrations through the SELangkah app and website to allow employers to buy COVID-19 vaccines for employees. This initiative is called the Selgate Covid-19 Vaccination Program.
The vaccine to be administered is CoronaVac (commonly known as Sinovac), by Sinovac Biotech of China. Both doses of the vaccine will be given at assigned clinics (for companies with less than 1,500 employees) or through a working group that arrives at your office (for larger companies). You can read a more detailed guide on how this initiative works here.
If you are an employer who doubts this, here are 7 reasons why you should subscribe to the initiative to vaccinate your employees.
1. No risk of blood clotting is reported
The AstraZeneca vaccine has caused a lot of concern due to the rare but serious side effects of people development of blood clots.
There have been no reports of Sinovac causing such serious risks, other than a receptor that developed an allergic skin reaction with hair in an early-stage vaccine trial. However, it resolved within 3 days after treatment with antihistamines and steroids, according to Health line.
Common side effects of taking Sinovac include pain and soreness at the injection site, along with fatigue, diarrhea, and muscle weakness, although there have been fewer reports of these latter symptoms.
2. Use the traditional technology we know
Sinovac uses a more traditional approach to vaccine technology, relying on inactivated or “dead” virus particles to produce an immune response, according to the same Healthline source.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, in contrast, relies on a chimpanzee adenovirus to transport coronavirus-derived proteins to the body to create an immune response.
Dictionary time: An adenovirus in chimpanzees is a group of common viruses (such as the flu) that cause these infections in chimpanzees. When modified to be used in vaccines, these viruses are very efficient at helping to produce immune responses.
Sinovac’s CoronaVac is made up of an inactivated virus that carries the basic genetic information that enables the immune system to fight the vaccine. The real part of the virus that causes SARS-CoV-2 disease is destroyed.
Influenza, polio, and rabies vaccines also use these methods to create immunity, but they do not create immune responses as strong as other types of vaccines. That’s why the effectiveness rate of the Sinovac vaccine is fair 56%, while AstraZeneca is 76%.
However, as vaccines are new, their effectiveness is still being widely tested and therefore there is no certainty that one is better than the other. In short, getting a vaccine is better than not getting vaccinated at all.
3. This opportunity speeds up the immunization queue
Based in Malaysia National immunization program COVID-19, assuming all your employees are healthy and under the age of 60, the wait for vaccination may be uncertain. For many of us who were not eligible for Phases 1 and 2, our MySejahtera apps still have the “Vaccine Fit?” unmarked portion.
When the government opened records for the AstraZeneca vaccine, the first to arrive for the first time, all 268,000 slots were occupied in about 3 hours, proving that Malaysians want the vaccine and want it quickly.
This time, the employers of Selangor also have the opportunity to move forward, with the Sinovac vaccine. It is speculated that Sinovac vaccinations under the Selgate Covid-19 Vaccination Program could begin in June, but no confirmed dates have been given so far.
4. Ensures the safety of staff when performing on-site tasks
For industries where human interaction on the site is inevitable, there is a fear that arises when employees can contract the virus from external sources and transmit it to colleagues or customers.
This often results in the closure of companies for sanitation, in employees passing massive tests, and in anxiety about when your company can return to full performance.
Under this initiative, employers with workers who move frequently from one job to the next will have the security that employees can fight the virus much faster. It then turns out that they return to work shortly after inoculation.
5. More of the staff can return to the office
To comply with social distancing orders, offices have had to reduce their staff according to a rotation schedule or only allow up to 70% of the staff working in the office.
It can be exhausting for many to keep up with ever-changing PCOS, not to mention reduced productivity and the collaboration of dispersed labor.
Enrolling in Selangkah VAX can allow your office to return to normal much faster. Once employees are vaccinated, social distancing can be reduced in certain situations, allowing more employees to return to the office.
However, it is still recommended that vaccinated individuals maintain the standard COVID-19 PCOS until the majority of the population is vaccinated.
6. Reduces absences due to medical emergencies
Positive testing for the virus can be a daunting task for businesses. At best, employees show mild symptoms and may simply be quarantined and work remotely. In the worst case, they may need to be hospitalized or sent to a quarantine facility where it is not possible to work off-site.
This would require them to take medical leave to be treated and to rest thoroughly. This makes them unproductive when it comes to urgent work.
To add, someone who has the virus and has symptoms will need at least a week to recover and during that time may be out of service. On the other hand, the mild symptoms associated with vaccination usually last a few days, and most recover in 2 days.
7. It helps the nation achieve herd immunity more quickly
Vaccination of at least 80% of employees will help the population in your office achieve herd immunity, protecting employees who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons.
In turn, with faster vaccination of Malaysia’s population, it will help the country achieve its goal of inoculating 80% of its 32 million people by February 2022.
To date, 1,202,395 people have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 733,237 have been fully vaccinated as of May 16, 2021, according to JKJAV (Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee).
Entrepreneurs who sign up through Selangkah VAX can help bring that number closer to the nation’s target on time, or much faster.
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It is worth noting that Sinovac vaccines purchased through Selangkah’s VAX program will not be free. Vulcan Post clarified in a call to Selgate Corporation (who is behind this initiative) that a single shot from Sinovac is currently priced at 190 RM per shot. With the full dose requiring 2 shots, it adds up to RM380 per pax.
However, if you register successfully, an official quote will be emailed to you within the next 3 business days.
It is definitely an expense if your company decides to bear the cost, but it is a useful and beneficial investment to get all the points outlined above, especially because it is not extremely expensive per employee.
- You can learn more about the Selgate Covid-19 vaccination program here.
- You can read more of our articles related to the COVID-19 vaccine here.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post / Unsplash