KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): Malaysia is confident of meeting its target of vaccinating more than 80% of its population or close to 27 million people by the first quarter of 2022, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the vaccination programme will be implemented in phases over a period of 12 months, and that the first batch is expected to be vaccinated by early March.
"I am pleased to announce that the planning for our Vaccination Programme is on-track," Muhyiddin said in a live address on national television today.
"Through the established Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply, the government will ensure transparency in the procurement of vaccines and give the utmost priority to the National Immunisation Programme. A total of RM3 billion has been allocated specifically for this purpose," he said.
It was previously reported that the government had secured supply of Covid-19 vaccines for 40% of population (12.8 million people) through joint agreements with Covid-19 vaccine global access (COVAX), and pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The first batch from Pfizer is expected to arrive in Malaysian shores by the end of next month.
The government is also currently said to be finalising deals to buy vaccines developed by China-based pharmaceutical companies Sinovac and CanSino Biologics, as well as the Sputnik V shot developed by Russia’s state-run Gamaleya National Center.
Once agreements are finalised with Sinovac, CanSino & Gamaleya, Malaysia will have vaccines to cover almost 83% of the population or 26.5 million people.
Muhyiddin also said today that the Special Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Malaysian Islamic Affairs has decreed that the Covid-19 vaccine is permissible to be taken, and is a necessity for specific groups.
"Ensuring the welfare of the community by protecting people from being infected by dangerous diseases is not something new from the (Islamic) Syarak perspective," he said.