Just mere three days after the plan was revealed to the public, the authorities have now decided not to implement the ability for people to choose their preferred brand of COVID-19 vaccine. This decision was revealed by the chairman of COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a media briefing earlier today.
He who is also the coordinator of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) said that this decision was done in the interest of accelerating Malaysia’s vaccination rate. Originally, this option would have been made available through MySejahtera which would roll out via an upcoming update.
Minister Khairy had pointed out that this option may slow things down as some would hold on from getting vaccinated as they wait for their preferred vaccine to be available. “We thought about that initially, but now the concern is to increase and ramp up the numbers, so we just give whatever we have,” says the CITF’s chairman.
Malaysia has ordered COVID-19 vaccines from five manufacturers to be used for PICK so far, although only three of them are currently in distribution at the moment including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac. According to Our World in Data, only 5.8% of the population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far although the government has assured that the vaccination rate will be ramped up from June onwards as more vaccine supplies will arrive into the country.