Four thousand MAF health staff to be inoculated first

KUALA LUMPUR – More than 4,000 Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) health staff are expected to be given priority to receive the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the first phase of the national immunisation programme.

COVID-19 Vaccine Strategic Committee acting chairman and Inspector General of MAF’s Health Services Division Brig Gen Datuk Dr Rosman Ab Rahman said 4,680 doses of the vaccine were received by MAF today.

Advertisement

“The vaccination (for the health staff) will be done after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is scheduled to be inoculated this Wednesday.

“We are still planning (about) who will receive the vaccine. (However), priority is given to MAF health staff, frontliners, and those working in red zones, while personnel working in key areas are also among those being considered for the time being,” he said.

He was speaking during a press conference after witnessing the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines at the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Wangsa Maju here, today.

Meanwhile, MAF Health Services Division Pharmacy director Brig Gen Datuk Dr A Halim Basari said phase one of the immunisation programme was specifically for staff under MAF and the Ministry of Defence, while phases two and three would include family members and dependents of the staff, as well as MAF veterans.

He said MAF would receive a total of 84,240 doses in six deliveries until the end of March.

Meanwhile, in KOTA BHARU, the Kelantan police chief Datuk Shafien Mamat said the state’s police contingent is set to receive a total of 3,922 doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday (Feb 24).

He said the first phase of the immunisation programme would involve 1,430 personnel in the state, with inoculations to be carried out at 13 locations.

Teachers might be included

The Education Ministry (MOE) meanwhile have said it will give priority to teachers in the high-risk group for the COVID-19 vaccine if the request for them to be included in the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme starting Wednesday, is approved.

Deputy Education Minister 1 Muslimin Yahaya said the MOE was in discussions with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) for teachers to also be given the vaccine in the first phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme seeing that schools will be opening next month.

“If the request is approved, the ministry will give priority to high-risk teachers to get the vaccine,” he told reporters after conducting a survey on the first day of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination at Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Yoke Kuan, Sekinchan here today .

Earlier, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said, they have received many applications from certain groups, including educators who wanted to be among the first phase recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said the application was seen as reasonable as schools would reopen in March.

However, Khairy, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, said they were facing constraints as the supply of vaccines for the first phase was only about one million doses of which a partial amount had been earmarked for some 500,000 medical and non-medical frontliners.

Therefore, Khairy requested that the MOE list the high-risk teachers so that they can receive the vaccine ahead of schools opening in March.