The country’s main association of medical doctors has welcomed the government’s plan to achieve herd immunity among 80% of the population against Covid-19 by the end of this year, saying the move is “strategic and comprehensive”.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) also said some 7,000 doctors in private clinics would be able to be participate in the programme, adding that these clinics could play a greater role in densely populated areas which carry higher risk of Covid-19 transmissions.
“Many of the private GP clinics are located in these areas, therefore access will be quicker and more convenient for the population,” said MMA president Dr Subramaniam Muniandy.
He said the involvement of the private health sector in the mass testing for the virus had made them more prepared for coordinating a vaccination drive of a scale such as this.
Malaysia is among the countries still awaiting the arrival of their first batch of vaccines, as it battles a fierce spike that saw daily infections passing the 4,000 mark several times this month.
Health authorities will soon open registration for the voluntary immunisation drive, targeting 70% herd immunity involving 23 million Malaysians.
Malaysia has ordered 25 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, half of which will arrive in late February.
MMA said it hoped the government would ensure transparency and prevent “non-healthcare middlemen or agents” from getting involved in the administration of the vaccines, adding that it should only be carried out by “qualified, trained medical personnel”.
It said a national vaccination programme of the scale needed for Covid-19 was unprecedented, adding that more information campaigns should be carried out to convince the public to take the jabs.
Yesterday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, whose ministry is tasked with securing several Covid-19 vaccines from a number of pharmaceutical firms, said Putrajaya would kick-start the vaccination programme by immunising 75,000 people a day at 600 vaccination sites nationwide from March.
The sites include government clinics and hospitals, university and armed forces medical facilities as well as private clinics.