ON just one day, Thursday, Malaysia administered almost 160,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Now, that’s a happy number to report instead of the usual litany of depressingly high number of cases and deaths.
Here are more good numbers: Next month, the government is aiming to vaccinate at least 200,000 people a day before ramping it up to 300,000 a day in August.
So far, out of the country’s 32 million people, about 1.3 million individuals have received both doses of the vaccine.
All these figures are an indication that the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is picking up pace, addressing complaints by Malaysians frustrated by what seemed to be a slow vaccination rate in the face of spiralling numbers of cases and fatalities daily.
In fact, last Saturday, it was reported that Malaysia is among the most vaccinated countries in South-East Asia, thanks to efforts by frontliners and the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
The vaccination process is improving too.
A month ago, many were complaining on social media about waiting more than two hours for their jab.
Now, there are more and more stories about the smooth procedure that can have you vaccinated and out within an hour.
At the KLCC mega vaccination centre, retired soldier Abd Nassair Ghani, 59, was impressed by the orderly process.
He arrived at the centre at about 8.30am and received his first dose of the Sinovac vaccine in less than 30 minutes.
“I am the first in my family to get vaccinated and hope that the rest will get theirs soon,” he said.
They probably will, as more mega vaccination centres have been set up in the Klang Valley to continue accelerating the immunisation drive.
The Health Ministry has also tapped the country’s wide network of GPs and their clinics to reach more people while mobile units will get to those in remote areas.
In another effort to increase the rate, the government has cut down on red tape where necessary to get more people vaccinated.
For example, villagers in remote Kapit in Sarawak were vaccinated without registering first. The “inject first, register later” approach was needed as Internet access is almost non-existent in longhouses and villages in the area.
Villagers in remote Long Pasia in Sipitang, Sabah, are pleading for a mobile vaccination team too – they can’t register as most don’t have smartphones and they can’t afford to pay the RM80 per person transport cost to travel to Sipitang town, more than 120km away.
Soon, hopefully, they too will be protected from the virus because, as Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has assured us, the government will vaccinate every eligible person so that the country can achieve herd immunity by the end of the year.
Also hopefully, more of those from states outside the Klang Valley who have already registered will get their dates soon, especially older folk.
Do your bit, register with MySejahtera and when you get your vaccination appointment, keep it.
The faster we are vaccinated, the faster we can return to a life with much less fear and anxiety.