KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 16): Malaysia is set to roll out on Feb 26 the biggest vaccination exercise it has ever undertaken in a massive effort to immunise the people against Covid-19. The first shipment of the vaccine is scheduled to be delivered five days earlier, on Feb 21.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will take the lead in getting vaccinated on Feb 26, along with several frontliners, under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme that is scheduled to stretch to February next year.
He disclosed details of the exercise when he launched a handbook today on the immunisation programme that had applied the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches. The handbook, which carries the tag line "Lindung Diri, Lindung Semua" (Protect Oneself, Protect Everyone), can be downloaded from www.vaksincovid.gov.my.
The handbook provides details of the immunisation programme and will serve as a source of reference for policymakers and implementers as well as the people, he said, adding that it had been brought out ahead of the first delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine to Malaysia.
“I am happy to announce that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be delivered to Malaysia on [Sunday,] Feb 21, 2021. Subsequently, the roll-out of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme will begin on Feb 26, 2021 when I will get vaccinated along with frontliners,” he said at the virtual launch of the handbook carried live over television and social media accounts.
Muhyiddin said the immunisation programme will be carried out in three phases up to Feb 22 next year, with the first phase from Feb 26 to April 2021, the second phase from April to August 2021 and the third phase from May 2021 to February 2022.
According to the handbook, 500,000 people will be covered in the first phase, comprising frontliners making up the government and private-sector healthcare workers as well as frontliners in the essential and security services.
Up to 9.4 million people will be covered in the second phase, and they comprise staff in the healthcare, essential and security services as well as people aged 65 and above, high-risk groups suffering from chronic ailments such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, and people with disabilities.
Some 13.7 million people are targeted in the third phase, and they comprise those aged 18 and above (both citizens and non-citizens). Priority will be given to Covid-19 red, yellow and green zones, in that order.
Muhyiddin said implementation of the comprehensive immunisation programme is to ensure herd immunity in the community so as to break the chain of Covid-19 infection and, finally, end the pandemic.
"Vaccination is very important for us to protect not only ourselves but also our loved ones — family members, co-workers, neighbours and the whole community. That’s the message of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme tag line — 'Protect Oneself, Protect Everyone',” he said.
Muhyiddin said the people will be able to feel the positive impact once the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is implemented successfully and everyone is protected.
“The various economic sectors, such as tourism, will reopen. We can go on visits, we can engage in sports activities, but while practising the new norms. This is what I mean when I say that the vaccine is our most important ray of hope to win the battle against Covid-19.
"Surely, a new chapter will open with the start of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme at the end of this month," he said.
Advising the people not to take immunisation lightly, he coaxed them to register for vaccination and to make time to receive two doses of the vaccine.
The handbook explains that registration for the vaccination can be done through the MySejahtera application, the hotline (to be made known), the outreach programme for rural and interior areas, website www.vaksincovid.gov.my and at government and private health facilities.
It says that the vaccine will be stored at 54 locations throughout the country and administered to the people at 605 locations.
As of this month, Malaysia had secured access to 66.7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility from five producers, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, CanSinoBIO and Sputnik V, according to the handbook.
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