Recently, staff at 56 hotels in Pahang, including in Genting Highlands, were given their first jab of the COVID-19 vaccination, according to Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin
Khairy revealed this earlier today, 28 April, after allegations on social media accused the Minister of issuing the order to vaccinate the workers in the tourism sector ahead of teachers and at-risk groups in the state.
"An allegation has been spread on social media sites stating that a number of Genting Group employees received the COVID-19 vaccination allegedly on my instructions. I deny I have ever issued any such order as the allegation," the Minister stated in his statement while quote-tweeting the allegation.
According to Khairy, the decision to vaccinate tourism industry workers was made by the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) in Pahang
"In Pahang, the State CITF had decided to give the vaccine to workers in the tourism sector involving 56 hotels in Kuantan, Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Raub, Mentakab, Bentong, Bukit Tinggi, and Fraser Hill. The decision to administer these vaccines were made when the Pahang state had given finished first doses of vaccines (while waiting for time to pass before giving the second) to all recipients listed in the priority Phase 1 group," said Khairy.
They were vaccinated ahead of senior citizens, teachers, and other at-risk groups.
The Minister appeared to imply that it's not just Pahang but several other states that had failed to adhere to the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee's (JKJAV) priority list.
He said that the Federal CITF only found out about the decision by Pahang CITF after they had given the vaccines to tourism workers
"Following this incident, I have written a letter to the Pahang government on 12 April to inform them that the decision on early recipients for the vaccine is under the jurisdiction of JKJAV. Until (the JKJAV includes other) groups in the list, the existing priority list must be used," he said in the statement.
In March, JKJAV published a guide to identify frontliners
As per the guideline, hotel staff and tourism industry workers are not considered frontliners.
If you're wondering when you will get the jab, this vaccine calculator gives you an estimate of where you are in that 26-million-long queue:
Meanwhile, a property developer has obtained approval for its Phase 3 clinical trial study of inactivated COVID-19 trial vaccines in Malaysia: