Bestari Jaya, 26 July 2021 – Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) has opened its third industrial vaccination centre (PPVIN) in its Tennamaram Estate in Bestari Jaya, Selangor. This PPVIN centre will benefit some 6,500 plantation workers from the palm oil, rubber and other agricultural sectors in the Selangor state.
The Tennamaram PPVIN centre is a pilot exercise for the plantation sector in Peninsular Malaysia under the Vaccination Programme for the Agri Commodity Sector (VACOMS), led by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA). It will be used to vaccinate not just SDP workers, but also plantation workers from other companies in Selangor.
Earlier this month, SDP had established two other PPVIN centres at its Rajawali and Lavang estates in Bintulu, Sarawak, to immunise over 4,000 workers.
"It is vital that plantation workers, the backbone of the country's agricultural sector, are given the opportunity to be vaccinated," said SDP’s Managing Director, Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha.
"However, while the health and well-being of our workers are important to us, we must also ensure that the entire vaccination exercise is voluntarily and that our workers fully understand the process and what it entails," he added.
SDP has been part of the national effort to ramp up vaccinations across the country to achieve herd immunity for the people. On 17 June 2021, SDP opened up its headquarters in Ara Damansara, Selangor, to host OKU Sentral's Drive-through Vaccination Centre dedicated to persons with disabilities and their caregivers. About 13,500 eligible recipients have registered for the programme. A total of 7,255 doses have already been administered as of 23 July 2021.
To ensure full understanding and consent to being vaccinated, SDP has reached out to its workers to explain the entire vaccination process and to stress that it is entirely voluntary. This involved a series of communications with both local and migrant workers in their respective native languages. For SDP, this included an extensive exercise in the native languages of workers from several Asian countries including Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia and Pakistan. SDP also continues to work closely with the respective Embassies to help workers raise any concerns or questions regarding the vaccination process with their government representatives.
The Tennamaram PPVIN Centre is being set up with the guidance and assistance of all related government agencies, including the COVID-19 Immunisation Taskforce (CITF), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Health, ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn. Bhd., MPIC and MPOA.
All standard operating procedures (SOP) and protocols are in place throughout the PPVIN centre to safeguard both the front liners and the vaccine recipients. Additionally, vaccine recipients will undergo temperature checks before they board their buses. All the buses will run at 50% capacity with strict social distancing requirements in place. Throughout the process, workers will be required to wear face masks and to sanitise their hands regularly.
In addition to running its newly launched ‘Kami Prihatin’ nation-wide campaign to provide food and essential items baskets as well as job opportunities to Malaysians in need, SDP plans to set up more PPVIN centres at its operations in other states over the next few weeks. The Company has also encouraged its workforce in operations outside Malaysia to participate in similar national vaccination programmes, where available. All SDP's operations globally are observing national and operational level health and safety procedures.