Just slightly after 10:00 AM today, an Airbus A330-300 belonging to MASkargo has landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. On a normal day, there’s generally nothing extraordinary about the plane and would just be seen as one of the many cargo flights that are part of the hustle and bustle of KLIA.
Not this time around though as this particular aircraft which was flown by Captain Hamdan Che Ismail carried two special cargo boxes. Prepped by DHL, the two boxes – labelled as AKE 10296 MH and AKE 10679 MH – contained the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech for Malaysia.
Inside these cargo boxes, there are multiple cold storage boxes that altogether hold almost 313,000 doses. They will be distributed through Phase 1 of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Program (NCIP) that involves 500,000 frontliners which was originally scheduled to start from 26 February 2021.
The NCIP has since been brought forward to 24 February with PM Muhyiddin Yassin and Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will be the first to receive the vaccine. The move is as an effort to instil confidence among the public to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.
From KLIA, the first group of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be making its way to 16 Vaccine Storage Centres (VSCs) throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Six of these centres are located in Selangor while four are in Johor as well as three in Kuala Lumpur, two in Penang, and one in Putrajaya.
In total, there will be 54 VSCs to serve 605 Vaccine Administration Centres (VACs) throughout the country. Members of the public can begin to register to get their vaccine sometime this March through five different methods including via MySejahtera app.