Covid-19: Malaysia's 'largest vaccination programme ever' to begin by month's end

PETALING JAYA: The national Covid-19 vaccination programme will begin its rollout by the end of this month to immunise some 26.5 million Malaysians, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic).

“We are targeting that as much as 80% (of the population), or 26.5 million individuals, will receive the vaccine free of charge," he said in a special live address on Thursday (Feb 4).

Muhyiddin described the vaccine as a "ray of hope" for the nation in its fight against Covid-19 with the first batches from Pfizer and BioNTech to arrive soon.

He said the first phase of the immunisation programme will involve vaccinating a total of 500,000 medical and non-medical frontliners and is expected to be completed by April.

The second phase will involve those in the high-risk groups such as senior citizens who are aged 60 years and above, the disabled, those with heart ailments, obesity, diabetes and hypertension, he added.

“A total of 9.4 million people are expected to receive the vaccine under the second phase which will be from April to August this year, ” he said.

The third phase of the programme will involve the remaining group, aged 18 and above, with the vaccinations to be carried out between May this year and February next year.

“The national Covid-19 immunisation programme is the largest vaccination programme ever to be carried out in the country.

“I call on all Malaysians to mobilise all available resources to ensure its success.

“We are all in this together, and only together can we win, ” he said.

He noted that some 600 storage and vaccination centres will be opened nationwide for the programme.

Muhyiddin added that authorities will rely on the Emergency Ordinance 2021 to temporarily use halls and other facilities to prepare for the vaccination programme.

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