Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination rate has overtaken the average rate across Asia, with latest data showing the country is fast outpacing other major countries with vast populations in the Asean region.
Statistics on vaccination rates compiled by global data site Our World in Data placed Malaysia at the top in Asia as the only country whose vaccination rate is above the continent’s average.
It also showed a sharp upward trajectory as of May 30 in the rate of people given at least a first dose, in a sign of hope that the government’s goal of achieving herd immunity this year might be easily met.
Some 7.3% of the Malaysian population has received at least a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine since the start of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in February, more than the Asian average of 6.47% as well as that of five other neighbouring countries with vast land and population sizes.
This is without taking into account the 79,620 people who were administered a first jab on June 6.
As of June 6, a total of 3,574,376 people in Malaysia had been vaccinated with at least a first dose, with 1,130,301 of them fully vaccinated. Selangor, Sarawak, Perak and Kuala Lumpur are the states with the most number of vaccine doses administered so far.
Meanwhile, 6.43% of the population in Indonesia, which started its vaccine drive more than a month ahead of Malaysia, has received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
The two countries are far ahead of other Asean countries such as the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.
Malaysia’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) began on Feb 24, with some 500,000 frontliners vaccinated in the first phase.
The second phase which began in April is expected to cover 9.4 million people comprising senior citizens and those in high-risk groups by August.
Phase Three meanwhile from May this year until February next year will involve some 13.7 million people aged 18 and above.
Khairy Jamaluddin, the minister in charge of PICK, has repeatedly assured that the vaccination rate, criticised by some as slow, will pick up as more supplies of vaccine arrive in the country.
PICK aims to provide immunisation against the Covid-19 infection to about 80% of the country’s population, both locals and foreigners.