PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin took his first vaccine jab today to kick-start a nationwide exercise that aims to provide COVID-19 immunization for free to the people in Malaysia, locals and foreigners alike.
The prime minister received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shot at the Putrajaya Health Office in Precinct 11 here, which is among the Vaccine Dispensing Centres (PPV) identified for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.
Muhyiddin arrived at the clinic at about 2.25 pm and had to go through five stations at the PPV to complete the vaccination process.
He was administered the vaccine by Lina Ibrahim, a matron at the Putrajaya District Health Centre.
The first station is for temperature check and screening of symptoms; the second for registration to confirm presence for vaccination; the third for consultation and consent; the fourth for getting the COVID-19 jab and the fifth for observation.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, a familiar face in Malaysia’s year-long battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, was administered the vaccine right after Muhyiddin had received his.
Four Health Ministry personnel – Dr. Tan Yee Ling, Sheilla Mellissa Sikin, Khairul Asraf Mohd Yasin, and Clement a/l Marai Francis – then received their vaccine jab.
Dr Tan, 30, is a medical officer and Sheilla Mellissa, 31, a nurse at the Putrajaya Health Clinic in Precinct 9, while Khairul Asraf, 44, is an assistant medical officer and Clement, 36, a driver at the Putrajaya Health Office.
After being kept under observation for possible side effects, Muhyddin was then given his appointment for his second dose.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine comes in two doses, with the jabs to be given 21 days apart.
The prime minister then launched the registration for the immunisation programme via the MySejahtera vaccination app which was introduced to make it easier for people to sign up for inoculation.
The national immunisation programme, themed Protect Oneself, Protect Everyone, will be implemented in three phases, with the first phase from February to April 2021 for 500,000 frontliners.
Phase two from April to August is for senior citizens aged 65 and above, high-risk groups and people with disabilities involving 9.4 million people, while phase three is from May 2021 to February 2022, for those aged 18 and above, covering more than 13.7 million people.
The government is targeting to get at least 80 per cent of the people vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to curb and end the pandemic.
It hopes to complete the vaccination exercise by February 2022 but may achieve the target earlier if the supply of vaccines can be delivered ahead of schedule.
Since the first COVID-19 infection was reported in Malaysia on Jan 25 last year, the virus has infected 288,229 people and claimed 1,076 lives as of yesterday.
Malaysia received its first batch of 312,390 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech on Sunday and was scheduled to get its second batch of 182,520 doses of the same vaccine today.
Also present at the PPV were Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin.