Nearly 600k frontliners have registered for immunisation

PUTRAJAYA – A total of 571,802 frontliners have registered to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as of yesterday, says Coordinating Minister for National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said of the total, 57.3 per cent were medical and health personnel, with 39.8 per cent being from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the remaining 17.5 per cent comprising other medical and health personnel, including from the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM).

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According to Khairy, the other 42.7 per cent were non-health personnel including members of the ATM, Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Malaysian Police, People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA), Malaysian Prisons Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Social Welfare Department.

“We are pleased to inform, that the first immunisation programme involving Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has been brought forward to Feb 24, two days earlier than scheduled.

“Both of them will be among the first individuals to be immunised along with the frontline staff,” he said in a statement today.

Khairy, who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, said Malaysia made history when the first batch of COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 10.07 am.

“Along with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Adham Baba, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and Dr Noor Hisham, I had the opportunity to welcome the arrival of the vaccines, which was also broadcast live on television,” he said.

He said besides KLIA, some of the vaccine supply arrived in Johor and Penang.

Subsequently, the vaccines will be sent to 16 Vaccine Storage Centres (VSC) nationwide, namely six in Selangor; Johor (four); Kuala Lumpur (three); Penang (two) and Putrajaya (one).

“The arrival of this vaccine gives a ray of light to all of us Malaysians, especially the frontliners in the effort to fight this pandemic,” he said.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH604, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft carrying the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived at KLIA with 312,390 doses of the vaccine for Malaysia under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme which will be held in stages.

Those eligible should register

Muhyiddin meanwhile has expressed his gratitude over the safe arrival of the first batch of the 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.

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.