Teenagers from as young as 12 years old will begin receiving their Covid-19 jabs today with the launch of the vaccination programme for adolescents, the newest phase under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
The government is aiming to fully vaccinate 80% of students before the 2022 school session begins.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said some 3.2 million teenagers are expected to be involved in the programme for adolescents.
Priority will be given to some 1.1 million teenagers aged 16 to 17 who will be sitting for public examinations as well as those with comorbidities.
They will be given the Pfizer vaccine while health authorities study the use of the Sinovac jab on teenagers.
Khairy said the programme will be implemented using methods such as scheduled outreach initiatives at schools, the administration of jabs at health clinics and hospitals, and walk-in programmes at selected vaccination centres across the country.
He said teenagers must be accompanied by their parents or guardians who will need to sign the consent form before they are given the vaccine.
Speaking at a press conference at SMK Putrajaya Presint 8 (1), he said teenagers with health problems would be exempted from receiving the jabs.
Education Minister Radzi Jidin who also spoke at the press conference said a group of 323 students aged 16 and 17 from SMK Putrajaya Presint 8 (1) would be the first to receive their jabs under this phase of PICK.
Over 40 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered so far under PICK, with 56.5% of the population fully vaccinated as of yesterday.