Malaysia’s first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived on February 21, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, with another consignment making its way overland from Singapore to Johor.
The total of 312,390 doses made several stops since leaving the Pfizer plant in Belgium, including Leipzig, Germany and Singapore, the Asia-Pacific distribution hub for the much-awaited Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, leading the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, says the vaccination roll-out has been brought forward to February 24.
Phase 1 – From February to April, will cover 500,000 frontliners who are directly involved in the fight against Covid-19. This includes those in healthcare, police, the Volunteers Department of Malaysia (RELA), The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Bomba), and the civil defence sectors.
Phase 2 – The second phase will target 9.4 million people in the high-risk group, comprising senior citizens above 60 years old, people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, and people with disabilities.
Phase 3 – The third phase, from May 2021 to February 2022, is for all remaining individuals, including adults aged 18 years and above.
|Type||Country of Origin||Number of Doses|
|AstraZeneca||UK / SWEDEN||2|
Vaccinations will be given to citizens and non-citizens aged 18 and above with priority given to residents in COVID-19 red and yellow zones before moving on to those living in green zones.
The vaccination will be free for all citizens and non-citizens including diplomats, expatriates, students, foreign spouses and their children, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cardholders.
Children below the age of 18 will not be given the vaccine.
Although the Malaysian government has not made it mandatory to be vaccinated, citizens and non-citizens who refuse the doses could face restraints in moving around or engaging in businesses in the future.
The requirement would likely be in the form of a health passport for visitors to prove that they have been vaccinated as a move to protect the locals.
For example, those who wish to visit any African countries must take the Ebola vaccine, to limit the risk of exposure to the virus.
The public must register themselves in order to get the vaccine which will be open beginning 1 March through the following;
- The MySejahtera mobile application.
- JKJAV (Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee) Website
- Walk-in registration at public and private healthcare facilities.
- Public outreach programs in rural areas.
|TYPE OF VACCINE||EFFECTIVENESS IN % AND DURATION|
|Pfizer-BioNTech||7 days after 2nd shot; some 12 days after 1st dose|
|AstraZeneca||15 days after 2nd shot; some 22 days after 1st shot|
|Sinovac||70% effectiveness after both shots|
|CanSino Biologic||65.7% after the 1st shot|
|Sputnik V||22 days after the 2nd shot|
The JKJAV (Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee) website explains that side effects are to be expected from the vaccination, which includes;
- Pain, redness and swelling around the injection area.
- Joint pains.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes.
- Other undetermined symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, taking the vaccination teaches your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, which protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
Currently, immunologists are still researching the hypothesis if it is safe to take more than one type of COVID vaccine.
Only by studying the immune response in people who have been vaccinated, immunologists focusing on the COVID-19 cases will tell when and if further booster vaccinations are needed.
Links about Malaysia’s Covid-19 Vaccine Program 2021
Stay updated with the latest information regarding the COVID-19 situation.
- Malaysian Ministry of Health Facebook
- Malaysia National Security Council Facebook
- Malaysia Ministry of Education Facebook
- Malaysian Ministry of Defence Facebook
- The Complete 2021 Guide for MCO, CMCO, RMCO in Malaysia
Let us continue to keep our heads above the water for the sake of ourselves, our loved ones and our community.
Keep calm and carry on the Malaysian spirit as high as you can!