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COVID-19 Vaccine Programme: What You Need to Know

Written by: Bernie Yeo | 17 Feb 2021 17:57
Image from www.thestar.com.my
Written by:
17 Feb 2021 17:57
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Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently launched the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme handbook. The handbook, which provides further details on the country’s largest vaccination programme, can be downloaded at www.vaksincovid.gov.my.

Based on the handbook, here’s what you need to know about Malaysia’s national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

What we will be getting

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine comes from US drug maker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, which has shown high efficacy of 95 per cent. This will be administered in two doses per person, and Malaysia has ordered enough of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12.5 million Malaysians.

The country has also managed to secure COVID-19 vaccines produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech (14 million doses), Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute (6.4 million doses), UK’s AstraZeneca (6.4 million doses), and China’s CanSino Biologics (3.5 million doses).


Photo by Martin Lopez from Pexels

Vaccinations to be rolled out in three phases

According to the Prime Minister, the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be arriving on Feb 21, with the country set to begin implementing the immunization programme on Feb 26, starting with the frontliners.

The first phase, from February to April, will cover about 500,000 frontliners who are directly involved in the fight against COVID-19. This includes those in healthcare, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Bomba), the Volunteers Department of Malaysia (RELA) and civil defence sectors.

The second phase, from April to August, will target 9.4 million people from high-risk groups consisting of senior citizens above 60 years old, people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and people with disabilities.

The third and final phase, from May 2021 to February 2022, is for all remaining individuals including adults aged 18 years and above, and is expected to include at least 13.7 million people.

Registration starts 2021

Despite the fact that vaccinations will be administered free for all Malaysian citizens and non-citizens, the Malaysian government has not made it mandatory.

That being said, people will have to voluntarily register and provide consent to get vaccinated, and the handbook highlights five different methods of registration:

  • The MySejahtera application
  • The JKJAV website
  • A specialised phone hotline (yet to be announced)
  • Manual registrations at public and private medical facilities
  • Manual registrations with state government rural outreach programmes

Applicants will then be notified via call or SMS of the hospital and appointment date for them to get vaccinated.

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