With Malaysia’s per capita vaccination rate now among the fastest in the world, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) is seen as an important shield in the fight against the virus and in achieving herd immunity in the country.
Coordinating minister for the immunisation programme, Khairy Jamaluddin, when explaining the programme in the Dewan Rakyat today, said the percentage of the country’s population which had received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine had surpassed some developed countries like Japan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand.
He said the immunisation programme, involving an allocation of RM5.8 billion, initially targeted 80% of the population to receive the vaccine by February next year. However, he said this was brought earlier to December this year after taking into account the current developments.
“The duration has been further shortened to this October,” said Khairy, who is science, technology and innovation minister.
Malaysia recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 vaccinations yesterday, at 553,871 doses nationwide.
Khairy attributed the success of the programme to the involvement of various parties through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, including for the operation of vaccination centres (PPVs) which involved health and non-health workers.
As of July 22, he said, there were 2,313 PPVs of various types and capacities operating nationwide involving 6,133 volunteers who are non-health workers.
He also thanked the parliamentary members for their assistance in helping their constituents to register for the vaccination, as well as to provide transportation for them to go to the PPVs.
On the number of people who had registered for PICK, he said the percentage was still low, at 61.7% of the total Malaysian population compared to the target of 80%.
He said as of July 26, 20.13 million Malaysians had registered for vaccination with 18.8 million aged 18 and above.
“Based on these statistics, it is clear that the number who registered is still low compared to the PICK target of 80%. If we look at the statistics on the vaccination registration in several states, the percentage is lower than the threshold value set under the National Recovery Plan for a state to move from one phase to another.
“The total adult population who is registered is 80.5%, with those aged 60 and above totalling 3.5 million people,” he said, adding that 89% of the senior citizens who are registered have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Based on the total number of vaccines received, which was 26.38 million, Khairy said the Klang Valley covering Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya had received the highest number of vaccine doses, totalling 9.09 million since the immunisation programme was implemented until July 31, followed by Sarawak (3.65 million) and Johor (2.06 million).
To date, six types of vaccines have passed the evaluation of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division and obtained conditional registration approval from the Drug Control Authority (DCA). They are Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Comirnaty (Pfizer), CoronaVac (Sinovac), AstraZeneca and Convidecia. (CanSino).
Another two types of vaccines – Covilo (Sinopharm) and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – have also received conditional approval from the DCA.