Malaysia is set to roll out its COVID 19 vaccination programme on 26 February. The first shipment of the vaccine is scheduled to be delivered on February 21. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will take the lead in getting vaccinated along with several frontliners, under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme that is scheduled to stretch to February 2022.
Muhyiddin disclosed details of the exercise at the launch of a handbook today on the immunisation programme that has applied the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches. He said that the handbook provides details of the immunisation programme and will serve as a source of reference for policy makers and implementers as well as the people. Muhyiddin said the immunisation programme will be carried out in three phases up to February next year. The first phase will be from February 26 to April 2021, second phase from April to August 2021 and 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 the 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. As of February, Malaysia had secured access to 66.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX Facility from five producers, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, sinovac, CanSinoBIO and Sputnik V, according to the handbook.