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By Adrian Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21: The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) will begin on Feb 24 instead of the earlier scheduled rollout on Feb 26.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the federal government has decided to roll out PICK ahead of the scheduled timeline due to the efficiency and preparedness of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and the Ministry of Health’s pharmacy division in ensuring smooth delivery and receipt of the vaccine.
“We now realise we can launch it earlier, although we had initially expected to take several days to deliver the vaccine to the vaccine storage centres.
“NPRA also has to assess the log list for every delivery of the vaccine, they have to check to ensure that there are no defects.
“But when we saw the efficiency of NPRA and MoH’s pharmacy division and found that everyone is ready after inspecting the vaccine storage centres, the prime minister said, ‘let’s start early, there is no need to wait until Friday (Feb 26),” he told a press conference after witnessing the arrival of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia today.
Khairy who is also the coordinating minister for PICK said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will be among the first recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine this coming Wednesday (Feb 24).
Malaysia’s first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine contained 312,390 doses and arrived here today.
Khairy noted 271,802 frontliners have registered for the vaccination programme.
Elaborating, he said 57.3 per cent of them are healthcare personnel while 42.7 per cent are frontliners from the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, the People’s Volunteer Corps, Prison Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department and the Fire and Rescue Department.
Meanwhile, registration for the vaccination programme is expected to be opened to the public on March 1 and the inoculation is on a voluntary basis. — DayakDaily