Some 75,000 citizens are expected to receive the coronavirus vaccine injection daily at 600 vaccination centres in the whole country when the national COVID-19 vaccination programme commences this coming March.
According to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, the government’s preliminary target is 75,000 vaccine injections over a one-day course and the next target is 150,000 daily, covering the second dose.
He said that the government expects completion of the vaccination programme towards 27 million citizens, equivalent to 80 percent of the population in Malaysia, by March 2022 or as soon as the end of this year.
“We’re doing our best to implement the vaccination for the public as much as possible during the second, third and fourth quarter of the year.
“The government has identified 600 sites (vaccination centres) for the programme’s execution. We’re also in the midst of identifying areas such as stadiums or event locations that are wide enough for that purpose,” Khairy stated in a news portal today (January 29).
“I’m confident that the government’s target can be achieved with an adequate provision of facilities including 24-hour operation of vaccination centres daily.
“If we’re to consider 75,000 individuals per day, with the combination of 600 centres, added with wide vaccination areas that I am arranging, we’ll be able to wrap it up fastest by December this year, should the plan go smoothly,” he opined.
The 600 vaccination centres comprise government hospitals, private hospitals, university hospitals, Malaysian Armed Forces hospitals, health clinics and private clinics.
Khairy mentioned that discussions need to be held at state-level administrations with private clinics in order to look into respective locations and vaccination capacities.
“For vaccination capacity at private clinics, we suggest that they’re not too high. They’re more towards the convenience of certain groups, such as senior citizens.
“If they live in areas that might be far from hospitals or vaccination centres, they can head to private clinics by referring to online lists for availability and the MySejahtera app for bookings,” he elaborated.
Khairy stressed that the government will bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations should they be done at private clinics, thus ensuring free-of-charge public availability.
He informed, the government will be increasing vaccination staff from 7,000 to 10,000, subject to the number of vaccination centres.
Khairy further mentioned, apart from doctors who are categorised as vaccination staff, medical assistants, nurses, nurse supervisors, medical students, volunteers and NGOs will be involved as well.
“We aren’t only mobilising those in the healthcare service, but also community volunteers such as the Red Crescent Society, St. John Ambulance and as many as possible to be involved,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Khairy said that he is aware of the possibility of late supply acquisition of vaccines developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, aside from those manufactured by firms in China and Russia.
“The vaccine portfolio will continue to be balanced and adapted so that we’re able to acquire the supply in the supposed total until the fourth quarter of this year,” he explained.