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With its frontliners exhausted and hospitals buckling under the weight of cases, the only way Malaysia can cope with the Covid-19 pandemic is to achieve the target of vaccinating 80 per cent of the population as soon as possible

On the first day of Malaysia’s full lockdown (FMCO), Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin released a video statement to address a certain number of issues surrounding the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, which is currently in phase two, prioritising the elderly, those with morbidity problems, and the disabled.

Read more: Covid-19: Malaysia Goes Into Full Lockdown (FMCO) From June 1, 2021

“We all know lockdowns are costly for the economy. Although we have no choice but to implement the MCO now, we cannot continue to do so in the future. Millions more will lose their jobs and livelihoods. That is why we need to vaccinate everyone at a faster rate,” Khairy, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, said.

In the video update, Khairy outlined how the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force is aiming to accelerate the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations in the country.

Types of vaccines

The delivery schedule for the vaccines has been renegotiated so that the vaccines will arrive faster. Twelve million doses of the Sinovac vaccine are scheduled to arrive by the end of July while 25 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive in the third quarter of 2021.

See also: The 5 Covid-19 Vaccines In Malaysia's National Vaccination Programme

Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) is also currently evaluating the CanSino single-dose Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier, it was reported that Malaysia will receive a supply of 3.5 million doses of the CanSino Covid-19 vaccine from China in stages, starting from April.

Vaccination capacity

Malaysia is currently administering 100,000 doses a day. The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force aims to double this by July. More vaccination centres or PPVs, including mega PPVs that can handle five to 10 thousand doses a day, will be added as well.

Among the mega PPVs that will be set up in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are the Malaysia International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MITEC), Mara Technological Institute University (UiTM) Puncak Alam, Setia City Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), and Bukit Jalil Stadium. Strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) and crowd control measure will be enforced at the mega PPVs to mitigate overcrowding.

Read more: #CucukMYAZ: How To Prepare For Your AstraZeneca Vaccination

By the end of June, 1,000 general practitioner (GP) clinics will become PPVs to give people easier access to the vaccines. Additionally, more private hospitals will be used as PPVs and drive through PPVs will also be opened. Mobile outreach teams have also been set up at the state level to care homes for the elderly and disabled, villages, homeless shelters, orang Asli villages, and other difficult-to-reach areas.

On May 31, Khairy told a press conference that a total of 30 mobile vaccination trucks, each capable of administering 100 doses, will be activated in People’s Housing Project (PPR) areas and construction sites in Kuala Lumpur to speed up the process of administering Covid-19 vaccines.

In his closing note, Khairy added that he will be coordinating with federal and state governments on the accelerated Covid-19 vaccination rollout, in order for the states to overcome their respective unique local challenges.

See also: Covid-19: Selangor Opens Vaccination Registrations For Businesses Through Selangkah Vax

Meanwhile, Malaysia is currently in phase one of the FMCO, which involves the full closure of social and economic sectors for 14 days starting June 1. Get the full SOPs here.