If you have been watching or reading the news, you must have known about the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia last Sunday (21 February). Then, on the following Wednesday, the first line-up of vaccine receivers – including our Prime Minister, the Director-General of Health and several other selected individuals – were given the injection live on television to officially kick-start the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.
Distribution strategy and policy
You may wonder when you can finally get your vaccine shots. For your information, the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme will be rolled out in 3 phases.
- Phase 1 (Feb – Apr 2021): Medical and non-medical frontliners (500,000)
- Phase 2 (Apr – Aug 2021): Other essential service workers, senior citizens, high-risk groups with chronic diseases, people with disabilities (9.4 million)
- Phase 3 (May 2021 – Feb 2022): Individuals aged 18 years and above (targeting 13.7 million and more)
The COVID-19 vaccination is VOLUNTARY and will be provided FREE of charge to all Malaysian residents (citizens and non-citizens). The current age limit is 18 years and above, but this may change based on continuous evaluations. The government is targeting at least 80% of Malaysia’s adult population to be vaccinated by February 2022.
As of February 2021, 66.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured by the government. The number of doses is enough to cover 109.65% of the population. Here is the list of the vaccines:
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (32 million doses)
- AstraZeneca vaccine (12.8 million doses)
- Sinovac vaccine (12 million doses)
- Sputnik V vaccine (6.4 million doses)
- CanSinoBio vaccine (3.5 million doses)
These vaccines will be received in stages starting February 2021, subject to approval by National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). All the vaccines have a minimum efficacy level of 50% as prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO) and need to be approved by NPRA as safe and efficacious before being used in Malaysia.
605 Vaccination Administration Centres (VACs) and 54 Vaccine Storage Centres (VSCs) have been identified nationwide to facilitate the implementation of the vaccination plan. The registration to receive the vaccine can be done through the following channels:
- MySejahtera app (personal registration has started; registration for dependents: mid-March)
- Website (vaksincovid.gov.my) (starting 5 March)
- Hotline (starting 5 March)
- Registration at health facilities
- Outreach programme
However, as a precautionary measure, these following groups may need further consideration prior to receiving the vaccine:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Individuals with severe allergies
- Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19
- Individuals with compromised immune system
To learn more about the programme, you can access the handbook here: English, Malay
Disclaimer: The information is sourced from the handbook and news report, and is accurate at the time of publication. Get the latest information regarding the vaccination programme from the official source.