Undocumented foreign workers have been asked to approach their respective embassies in order to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, ahead of the first delivery of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines this Sunday.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin assured that discussions would be held with the authorities to ensure that these workers are not detained.
“Arrangements will be made for documented foreign workers to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in an efficient manner,” he said at a press conference today.
“Meanwhile those who do not possess documentation must approach their embassies to be brought out and vaccinated without being arrested,” he said, adding that his ministry is still discussing the details of the plan.
Putrajaya previously said that foreign workers would receive Covid-19 vaccines free of charge, noting their contribution to the economy and saying this would help ensure herd immunity.
Khairy said that 300,000 frontline workers would receive the jabs in the first phase of the national vaccination programme. He said priority would be given to those in the health sector, followed by other workers in frontline sectors.
He said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was prepared to be one of the first to receive the vaccine to assure those who are concerned about its efficacy.
“The plan at the national level is being drafted,” he said. “We will identify several NGOs to join us on our team to help boost public confidence in the vaccines.”
On which vaccine would be given, Khairy said this would depend on the allocation of the jabs which have been approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“No one can choose which vaccine they will receive,” he said. “But do not worry as whatever vaccine is given has been approved by the NPRA. There should be no concerns.
“You cannot choose which vaccine. You will only be given the date, time and place to come and receive the jab.”
Malaysia has so far secured Covid-19 vaccine supplies from five companies at a total price of over RM2 billion, enough to inoculate more than 80% of the population and achieve herd immunity.
The Pfizer vaccines will be the first to arrive in Malaysia on Sunday, followed by vaccines under the Covax facility (March) and from AstraZeneca (April).
Three other vaccines will come from Sinovac and CanSino (China) and Gamaleya (Russia), totalling 23.9 million doses under various regiments.