Malaysia Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has volunteered to be among the first individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia. He said this during his Facebook live stream to provide updates on the current COVID-19 vaccine procurement.
He assures that the government will ensure that the vaccines are safe and effective before it is given to the public. To convince Malaysians that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, he will be among the first to be vaccinated followed by frontliners before it is administered to targeted groups including high-risk individuals, senior citizens, individuals with non communicable diseases (NCD) and chronic respiratory diseases.
The government has allocated an early funding of over RM2 billion to secure vaccines to cover over 80% of Malaysia’s population, which is around 26.5 million people. The COVID-19 vaccines will be given to Malaysians for free. The government has signed purchase deals with Covax, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and they are finalising agreements with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya.
He added that a Special Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee has been formed and it will be co-chaired by the Minister of Health and the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation to ensure that the vaccine supplies can be obtained immediately. The first batch of 1 million doses from Pfizer is expected to arrive as early as February 2021.
The Prime Minister said the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) of the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines once they are obtained and used. He also reminded Malaysians to continue to adhere to the SOP which include frequent washing of hands, wearing of face masks and maintain social distancing.
In the US, President-elect Joe Biden has just received the COVID-19 vaccine while Vice President Mike Pence received his on Friday. The public display of vaccination is aimed at assuring the public that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.
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