On Thursday 4 February 2021, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took time out to address the nation regarding the latest on MCO 2.0, in effect since January, in the country. He acknowledged that cases of COVID-19 in the country have skyrocketed of late and expressed his concern. However, he highlighted how the MCO has in fact had a positive on states like Kelantan, Pahang, and Kedah, where the number of daily cases has started to fall.
However, what most Malaysians were most interested in came during the final moments of his speech. Before rounding up his address, in which he spoke at length about how the Emergency Ordinance 2021 has been used thus far, the PM reiterated that the rollout of vaccines for Malaysians will indeed begin by the end of February!
The Pfizer vaccines are expected to help the government immunize at least 80% (or 26.5 million) of the population. What’s more, the vaccines will be distributed for free in three stages.
Stage 1: From February to April 2021. Targets front-liners (both health and non-health related). Expected to be distributed to roughly 500,000 Malaysians.
Stage 2: From April to August 2021. Targets high-risk groups. This includes senior citizens above the age of 60, those with chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and the differently-abled.
Stage 3: May 2021 to February 2022 (or earlier). Targets the rest of the population but limited to those above 18. The PM noted that this is the most important stage to achieve herd immunity among the community.
To help with the process, 600 vaccination centres will be opened throughout the country. And, as we’ve heard before, the National Immunisation Programme will be headed by YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Science and Technology.
Are you looking forward to getting vaccinated?