Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah have received their Covid-19 vaccine shots, becoming the first individuals in the country to be inoculated against the virus which has so far infected more than 288,000 and claimed over 1,000 lives.
Muhyiddin, who arrived at the Putrajaya Health Office at 2.25pm to launch the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, received his shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at 2.43pm.
The vaccine was administered by Lina Ibrahim, a matron at the Putrajaya District Health Centre.
Noor Hisham meanwhile received his vaccine shot directly after Muhyiddin.
“I did not feel anything at all,” Muhyiddin said after receiving his shot.
“It was all over before I realised it, just like a normal injection. Don’t worry, come forward any time,” he added, urging Malaysians and foreigners alike to sign up for the immunisation programme through the MySejahtera application.
“Be confident and trust that the government’s efforts are to ensure that we can break the chain of Covid-19 infection. God willing, we will succeed,” he said.
Four other personnel from the health ministry also received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine: Dr Tan Yee Ling, Sheilla Mellissa Sikin, Khairul Asraf Mohd Yasin and Clement Marai Francis.
Tan, 30, is a medical officer while Sheilla Mellissa, 31, is a nurse at the Putrajaya Health Clinic in Precinct 9.
Khairul, 44, is an assistant medical officer and Francis, 36, is a driver at the Putrajaya Health Office.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is administered in two doses, with the jabs to be given 21 days apart.
The national vaccination programme aims to provide immunisation against the Covid-19 infection to about 80% of the country’s population, both locals and foreigners.
The first phase of the programme, which will run until April, will see over 500,000 frontliners inoculated against the virus.
The second phase, from April to August, will involve senior citizens aged 60 and above as well as vulnerable groups with morbidity issues and persons with disabilities.
The third phase, to run from May until February next year, will cater to those aged 18 and above who have yet to receive their vaccinations.
Malaysia has obtained 66.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine through the Covax Facility, from five manufacturers. The vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, CanSinoBIO and Sputnik V.