Malaysia’s Covid-19 Vaccine Programme: Phase Two Kicks Off April 19
UPDATED MARCH 29, 2020
Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin has confirmed that the second phase of Malaysia's Covid-19 vaccine programme will commence on April 19. The phase will prioritise the elderly, those with morbidity problems, and the disabled. "Those eligible for the vaccine will receive a notification for the date of their vaccination two weeks prior to their appointments via the MySejahtera mobile application, phone call or SMS starting April 5," The Star quoted him as saying.
If you haven't registered your elderly dependent for the Covid-19 vaccine, you can do so through the MySejahtera app, under Add Vaccine Dependent. Khairy assured that those in Phase Two who are late in registering would be prioritised and brought to the top of the queue once they register.
In early February, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin disclosed that Malaysia is expected to receive its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines by end February, with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin scheduled to be the first recipient in order to boost confidence in the vaccine. Following which, the registration process for those who wish to receive the free Covid-19 vaccine will start in March.
To recap, here’s what you need to know about Malaysia’s national Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Vaccines in numbers
The first batch of Covid-19 vaccine is from US drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, which has shown high efficacy of 95 per cent. Apart from Malaysia, 49 other countries have approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and some of these countries have already started using it. This will be administered in two doses per person, enough to cover 12.5 million Malaysians (39 per cent of the population).
Malaysia has also secured Covid-19 vaccines produced by Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute (6.4 million doses), China's Sinovac Biotech (14 million doses), UK’s AstraZeneca (6.4 million doses), and China’s CanSino Biologics (3.5 million doses).
The scheduled phases
Once the vaccines are approved for local deployment, it'll be administered in three phases.
The first phase of vaccinations, from February to April, will cover 500,000 frontliners who are directly involved in the fight against Covid-19. This includes those in healthcare, police, the Volunteers Department of Malaysia (Rela), The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Bomba), and civil defence sectors.
The second phase, from April to August, will target 9.4 million people who are in the high-risk group, comprising senior citizens above 60 years old, people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, and people with disabilities.
The third phase, from May 2021 to February 2022, is for all remaining individuals including adults aged 18 years and above.
Who can get vaccinated
Up to 126,000 people will be vaccinated per day at 600 locations nationwide from late February, with the target of vaccinating 80 per cent of the population (or 26.5 million individuals) against Covid-19.
Aside from Malaysians, the free Covid-19 vaccination drive will include diplomats, expatriates, students, foreign spouses and their children, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cardholders.
The Malaysian government has also agreed to provide free Covid-19 vaccinations to millions of foreign workers in an effort to control clusters that have emerged in factories, construction sites, and plantations. These clusters have been a key source of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia, making up nearly two-thirds of new clusters between January 6 and January 22 2021.
How to register
As previously announced by Khairy, there are five ways to register for the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.
It could be done via the MySejahtera app, the soon-to-be-launched JKJAV (Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee) website, through the hotline (number to be announced), or through manual registration at public and private clinics and hospitals. For those living in rural areas, registration will be assisted by the state government.
For those who have elderly dependants, they can register said dependent through the MySejahtera app.
On February 16, Muhyiddin launched the immunisation plan handbook with guidelines on Malaysia's vaccine procurement strategy and the implementation and observation of the vaccination programme.