By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 4: More than 600 storage centres, which will also serve as Covid-19 vaccination centres, will be opened nationwide to ensure the smooth rolling out of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme expected at the end of February.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin pointed out that the authorities have been instructed to use various facilities including public and private healthcare facilities, stadiums, convention centres, public halls and universities as vaccination centres.
“Provisions in the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) 2021 will be used by the federal government to temporarily take over the halls and other facilities for the purpose of preparation to implement the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme,” he said in a special address to the nation today.
Emphasising that the National Immunisation Programme will be the largest vaccination programme ever implemented in the country, he urged and invited all Malaysians to work together to mobilise their energy and all available resources to make this programme a success.
“All of us, together, can provide assistance either in the medical or non-medical aspects, especially in the health education aspects at vaccination centres to make this programme a success.
“We are all in this together, and only together can we win. Protect yourself and protect everyone,” he said.
The Federal government also encouraged volunteers, university students, community leaders, religious leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Red Crescent Association, St John’s Ambulance, private sector and all Malaysias to participate in the programme.
Further details of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme including registration guidelines, vaccination centre locations and other relevant information will be disclosed in the near future.
To ensure that this programme is implemented in an orderly manner, Muhyiddin informed that the government has agreed to appoint Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin as the coordinating minister for the programme.
Khairy will lead a Special Task Force that manages the implementation of the programme especially on issues related to logistics and coordination with states and government agencies.
“This is to enable the Ministry of Health (MOH) to continue to focus on the functions of health services in dealing with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic which is still showing a worrying trend,” he said.
Meanwhile, the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is scheduled to arrive this month and the immunisation programme will be carried out in three phases with the first phase involving frontliners including healthcare workers, while the second phase to involve senior citizens and vulnerable elderly people with comorbid condition and the third phase for the remaining adults aged 18 and above. — DayakDaily