KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has expressed his gratitude over the safe arrival of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine today, which he described as key to achieving herd immunity to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said Malaysia will kick off the first of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme’s three phases on Feb 24, with the first roll-out taking place from February to April this year, involving 500,000 frontliners.
The second phase will be from April to August involving senior citizens aged 65 and above, high-risk groups as well as persons with disabilities (PwD), all involving some 9.4 million people, while the third phase from May this year to February 2022 will cover both Malaysians and non-citizens aged 18 and above, targetting more than 13.7 million people.
“Those classified under Phases 2 and 3, I hope you will be patient and continue to support the government’s efforts in implementing the immunisation programme while the first phase takes place,” he said in a Facebook post today.
He also congratulated the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee and all parties and agencies, particularly the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI), the Health Ministry (MOH), the Transport Ministry and Malaysia Airlines Bhd in ensuring the safe arrival of the vaccine in Malaysia.
The first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply, involving 312,390 doses, arrived safely at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 10.07 am via MASKargo Flight MH604.
Muhyiddin hopes that those who are eligible for the vaccine will sign up when registration opens soon and get their shots as scheduled.
“This vaccination (exercise) is very important for all of us to achieve herd immunity, (this) by ensuring that at least 80 per cent of Malaysia’s adult population receives the vaccine. This can directly prevent COVID-19 transmissions from getting worse,” he said.
Coordinating Minister for National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin said Muhyiddin and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will be among the first to receive the vaccine when the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is rolled out on Wednesday, ahead of schedule.
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