The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme officially began today with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to be the first in the country to receive the vaccine at about 3pm.
The three-phase programme, which started two days earlier than the original date of Feb 26, will see more than 500,000 frontliners receive the vaccine during the first phase which will last until April.
Also scheduled to receive the vaccine today are health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and four other staff from the health ministry.
They will receive the vaccine at the Presint 11 Health Clinic, Putrajaya, one of more than 500 vaccination centres (PPV) nationwide.
On Sunday, 312,390 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in the country. Some were flown to Kuala Lumpur and Penang, while others were transported over land to Johor. The vaccine was brought in from Singapore which is the hub for distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to Asia Pacific countries.
To date, 571,802 frontline members have registered for the jab with 57.3% being medical and healthcare personnel. The remaining 42.7% are members of the security sector including the armed forces, police, People’s Volunteer Corps, prisons department, customs department and fire and rescue department.
The second phase of the programme will run from April to August, involving senior citizens aged 60 and above as well as vulnerable groups with morbidity issues and persons with disabilities, while the third phase is scheduled from May this year to February 2022 for those aged 18 and above not vaccinated before.
The programme aims to provide immunisation against the Covid-19 infection to about 80% of the country’s population, both locals and foreigners.
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.
Since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in the country on Jan 25 last year, a total of 288,229 people had been infected with the virus as at Feb 23, with 1,076 deaths recorded for the same period.