Malaysia will begin its national COVID-19 immunisation programme today ahead of schedule following the arrival of the Pfizer vaccines on Sunday. To provide assurance that the vaccines are safe, the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin will be the first to receive the jab this afternoon during the official launch event.
According to the National Security Council, Phase 1 of the immunisation programme launch is happening this afternoon (24th February) at 2.30pm at the Putrajaya health office. It will be streamed live on RTM, Bernama, TV3 and Astro Awani as well as the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page.
Apart from the Prime Minister, the Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham will also be among the first to receive the vaccine. This marks the beginning of a nationwide effort to achieve herd immunity and it’s a step towards a normal life.
Under the first phase, a total of 500,000 frontliners will receive the vaccine from today until April 2021. Phase 2 will begin in April and it will include senior citizens, individuals with chronic diseases and people with disabilities. The remaining adults (aged 18 and above) will receive their jab in Phase 3 which will commence in May 2021.
Vaccination is free and it’s also offered to non-citizens in Malaysia. The programme is done voluntarily and everyone needs to register in order to receive the vaccine. There are 5 ways to do so and you can already register your interest in the updated version of the MySejahtera app.
As mentioned by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia could complete its vaccination programme by the end of this year. This is provided that the supply of vaccines arrive according to schedule based on contract and if we can achieve a peak vaccination rate of 150-160K per day.
The biggest challenge is to get as many people as possible vaccinated. There are concerns of vaccine hesitancy among the community and there will be a host of engagement and education programs to get more people onboard. The vaccination isn’t just about protecting yourself but it’s to protect everyone.