Khairy Jamaluddin today took Najib Razak to task again after the former prime minister claimed the national vaccination drive would take longer than projected to complete.
Khairy, the minister tasked with managing the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, said Najib was conveniently ignoring facts related to the immunisation drive.
“I have said again and again and again, the rate at which we vaccinate people will increase, it will increase in June, in July and in August.
“With the rate we are projecting, I’m confident we can get it done by the end of the year,” Khairy said at a press conference today.
Khairy also said Najib was only relying on the current rate of vaccination, adding that he “conveniently ignores” the fact that the rate would increase in the months to come.
“That’s what he continues to ignore. Tapi tak apa la, malu apa kan (But never mind, what’s there to be ashamed of),” Khairy added, referring to Najib’s tagline on social media.
Khairy in March denied claims by Najib that Malaysia was lagging behind other countries in achieving herd immunity.
He explained then that the slower rate for the first phase of the vaccination programme was because the bulk of those receiving the shots were frontliners.
He also said the vaccination drive would accelerate in subsequent phases, alongside an increase in the number of vaccination centres, more deliveries of vaccines and approval by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.
Najib said in a Facebook post yesterday that Malaysia would need another 6.1 years to reach herd immunity based on the latest vaccination rate, which he said was among the slowest in Asean despite its launch three months ago.
“The money in the KWAN tube has run out but the vaccine is still slow,” he said, referring to the National Trust Fund, from which RM5 billion was allocated for the national vaccination programme.
“It is hoped that this programme will be expedited and will not be delayed repeatedly,” he said.