PUTRAJAYA, Feb 23 — Malaysia will receive its second batch of 182,520 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine tomorrow (Feb 24) for distribution to states that have yet to receive the vaccine, said Coordinating Minister for National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the vaccine, produced in Belgium, was scheduled to arrive via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the morning from Singapore.
“The vaccine will be distributed to states that have yet to receive supply,” he said in a press conference after conducting a simulation of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme here today.
The vaccine will be distributed to Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Perak tomorrow (Feb 24), while Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan will receive the supply on Thursday (Feb 25), he said.
The first batch of 312,390 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine safely arrived in Malaysia through the national entry points at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sepang; Johor and Penang on Feb 21.
The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme is implemented in three phases starting Feb 24, with Phase 1 from Feb to April 2021 for the frontliners involving 500,000 people.
The Phase 2, from April to August, will involve senior citizens aged 65 and above, the high-risk groups and the disabled involving some 9.4 million people, while Phase 3 from May this year to February 2022 will cover both Malaysians and non-citizens aged 18 and above, targetting more than 13.7 million people
Khairy was previously reported to have said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah would be among the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow (Feb 24), marking the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme started two days ahead of schedule. It was originally scheduled for Feb 26.
Meanwhile, Khairy said a total of 55,539 teachers, categorised as high risk, will be considered to receive vaccine shot in the first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.
He said the consideration to include teachers in the first phase of the country’s largest vaccination programme was made after receiving a list from the Ministry of Education (MOE).
“We will try to include teachers in the first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme before the school reopening date,” he said.
The MOE has set reopening of school session for preschoolers, Year One and Two pupils on March 1 while Year Three to Year Six pupils will start attending school on March 8.
Meanwhile, secondary school students will return to classes from April 4 except for Form 5 students who will start on March 8.
On today’s simulation exercise, which was also attended by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Khairy said the vaccination process will take about 15 to 30 minutes including recipients’ monitoring process.