Covid-19: Govt defines 'frontliners' in guidelines for vaccination

PETALING JAYA: Guidelines have been released on who will be considered as a ‘frontliner’ in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

The Special Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee also affirmed that the vaccines will be prioritised for frontliners and that no "queue-cutting" in the vaccination programme would take place for those who are not considered frontliners.

The guidelines were drawn up by the special committee in a meeting, which was chaired by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The guidelines can be found on the Health Ministry’s Twitter account on Monday (March 1).

“The government does not give priority to any individuals, who are not in these frontliner categories, to receive the vaccine first.

“The meeting has also agreed for a committee to be set up to identify and process applications from various organisations such as government agencies, private companies, associations and NGOs to receive the vaccination, ” the special committee said in a statement on Monday (March 1).

The special committee said that there is no discrimination or favouritism in the type of vaccine that was being given to the people, following the rollout of the first phase of the mass vaccination programme.

“Risk assessment framework for phases 2 and 3 are being discussed so that the issue of the vaccination queue can be conducted transparently and fairly, ” it added.

It also said that a total of 1.5 million people have registered for the vaccination on the MySejahtera app as of noon Monday.

In the guidelines, frontliners are defined as individuals who have a high risk of contracting and spreading the Covid-19 virus, who are exposed to other individuals who have been infected and who have a high risk of being infected, and who are in an environment that has a high potential to be the cause of an outbreak.

Frontliners are divided into two categories.

Category one frontliners are those who are involved directly in providing medical treatment to patients, and they encompass healthcare workers from institutions under the Health Ministry, Defence Ministry, teaching hospitals and private hospitals.

This includes technical members (management and professional groups, paramedics and auxiliary) who are involved in patient care in healthcare facilities, in the handling of patients’ specimens, disinfection of environment, public health control on the field, interacting directly with members of the public. Another type of category one frontliner is the executive group at healthcare facilities who are involved in pandemic control and communicating directly with the public,

such as supervisor of counters.

Examples of category one frontliners include medical practitioners, dental practitioners, pharmaceutical officers, science officers and environmental health officers.

Other examples include nurses, X-ray technicians, medical laboratory technicians, healthcare treatment assistants, public health assistants and paramedics.

Category two frontliners are the other individuals that are from the healthcare, defence, security and essential services sectors.

They include general practitioners, private dentists, traditional and complementary medicine practitioners, and registered private laboratories staff.

Security personnel to be immunised in the first phase include the Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Armed Forces, General Operation Force, Prisons Department, Immigration Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the People’s Volunteers Corps (Rela).

Social welfare officers, Customs Department officers, contractors under the Health Ministry (such as cleaning services staff and security personnel), haemodialysis services operators will also be considered as Category Two frontliners.

Teachers from primary and secondary schools with more than one chronic health illness or who have various morbidities will also be considered Category Two frontliners.

Also defined as Category Two frontliners are Cabinet ministers, state executive council members, Members of Parliament, assemblymen and the government officers who are involved in official overseas visits of Cabinet ministers.

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