Last week, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin had provided an update regarding the status of COVID-19 vaccine for Malaysia. Even though it was done through two separate sessions, the main point delivered by both ministers are generally identical: Malaysia is acquiring enough vaccine to cover more than 80% of the population.
Interesting enough, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched an online survey to gauge the acceptance level of COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia within the same week. The survey lasted for a week and the ministry has since revealed that the majority of the 212,006 respondents are willing to accept the vaccine.
As you can see in the above image, around 33% of the responders are either not sure or planning to decline the vaccine. According to the survey, they are mainly afraid of the vaccine’s side effects and are doubting its effectiveness.
However, MoH didn’t release the result regarding the last question in the survey which revolved around the willingness of Malaysians to pay for their COVID-19 vaccine. While PM Muhyiddin has stated numerous times, including during last night’s new year speech, that the vaccine will be made available for free to the citizens, we have indeed yet to hear anything concrete regarding the distribution of the vaccine through private clinics and hospitals.
Then again, the national vaccination programme for COVID-19 is still under preparation and will only be presented to the Cabinet later this month. So, we do believe that things will be much more cleared once that happens.
(Main image: Olia Danilevich @ Pexels.)