PETALING JAYA: The government will carry out a two-dose policy under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme although a study had shown that a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines had up to 85% efficacy against the virus, says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister also said that there have been recent reports by a country that the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers 85% efficacy.
"However, we have yet to study the data on this and the committee on Covid-19 vaccine has decided to remain with the two-dose policy," he said.
He said the second dose will be administered 21 days after the first dose as recommended by the vaccine manufacturer.
Khairy added that the vaccination programme would be voluntary as the government had decided not to make it compulsory.
"We will look at the overall data and decide only later if it should be made compulsory," he said.
The government will also introduce a scheme to ensure that those with serious side effects from the vaccination receive ex-gratia payments.
"We will start a scheme where those who suffer serious side effects are given ex-gratia payments," he said at a press conference in KLIA following the arrival of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Sunday (Feb 21).
On vaccination of illegal foreigners, Khairy said talks are currently being held with the UNHCR, non-governmental organisations and civil society to ensure this is done to ensure herd immunity for the country.
He assured that illegals who come forward to be vaccinated would not be detained.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Program will begin two days ahead of schedule on Wednesday (Feb 24) following the arrival of the first batch of 312,390 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Sunday.