Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin once again appeared on national TV to deliver a special address to Malaysians in relation to the on-going COVID-19 situation. Most of the contents are related to the justification of the emergency order that took place since 11 January 2021 but there was one particular part that caught our attention: the national COVID-19 immunisation program.
In his speech, PM Muhyiddin stated that the program will begin at the end of February 2020. This is in line with the arrival of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is expected to take place on 26 February according to the Director-General of Health, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. During the first phase of distribution which is scheduled to last until April, the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to 500,000 frontliners.
After that, Phase 2 of the vaccine distribution will then take place from April to August 2021. 9.4 million people are expected to be covered in this particular phase which will be involve high-risk groups such as the elderly aged 60 years old and above alongside those that have chronic diseases as well as the disabled community.
As for the rest of the population, they will be able to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine starting from May 2021 until February 2022. Do note that the vaccination program is being performed on a voluntary basis and will only be administrated to individuals that are at least 18 years old.
PM Muhyiddin has also revealed that more than 600 vaccine distribution centres will be opened throughout Malaysia. Under the emergency ordinand, the government will be turning public and private health facilities as well as stadiums, convention centres, community halls, and universities into these centres.
He has also added that the Cabinet has agreed to appoint the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin as the coordinator of the program. On another hand, the Ministry of Health will continue to focus on combating the pandemic through health services.
Other information related to the national immunisation program such as registration (which will apparently be done via MySejahtera) and the location of vaccine distribution centres will only be revealed at a later date, according to the PM. Well, we will keep you updated once this vital information is revealed by the authorities.