PM Muhyiddin among first in Malaysia to receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Feb. 21

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin visits COVID-19 patients and frontline workers at the MAEPS quarantine center in January. Photo: Muhyiddin Yassin
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin visits COVID-19 patients and frontline workers at the MAEPS quarantine center in January. Photo: Muhyiddin Yassin

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be among the first in Malaysia to receive the initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech next week.

Muhyiddin announced today that he will be joined by other cabinet ministers including Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin to receive jabs at public hospitals. Medical workers, parliamentarians, and state assemblymen will take their turns from Feb. 26, followed by the elderly, the chronically ill, and adults aged 18 and above.  

“Among those that have close contact with the public are MPs and state assemblymen. Whether they are with the government or opposition, they will be vaccinated in the first phase,” he said today, in conjunction with the launch of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Handbook.

The first batch of 144,000 doses is expected to arrive from Germany on Feb. 21. 

Muhyiddin said that the country’s vaccination program will take place in three phases, starting with 500,000 people from next week till April. A total of 9.4 million elderlies and people with chronic illnesses will take their jabs between April and August. From May to next February, another 13.7 million people over 18 years of age will be able to get their jabs.

Malaysia has also procured another 18.4 million doses of vaccine from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, which was said to have 91.6% efficacy, and China’s Sinovac, which was reported in Brazil to be only 50% effective against the coronavirus but Sinovac has since defended its vaccine.

Malaysia’s Health Ministry aimed to vaccinate about 80%, or 26 million, of the total population and required everyone to register themselves on the MySejahtera COVID-19 tracking app for their appointments. 

The country recorded 266,445 COVID-19 cases yesterday with 2,176 new infections. The death toll stands at 975.

Other stories to check out:

Muhyiddin’s celebrity-style visit to COVID-19 center spawns memes

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