PETALING JAYA, Jan 15: Most Malaysians can expect to be vaccinated against Covid-19 from the third quarter of the year onwards, or some time after July.
“If you are a healthy adult under 60 and not a frontline worker, it is safe to assume that your turn will come by Q3 (the third quarter of the year or July-September) or after. This is the same for many other countries,” said science minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday.
Khairy said frontline workers from the healthcare and security sectors will be vaccinated first, “then senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses. Only then we will move on to the general population in order to get to a meaningful herd immunity threshold,” he said on his website.
Khairy said Malaysia is on track to receive its supply of Pfizer vaccines next month, one million doses in the first quarter, and 1.7 million, 5.8 million, and 4.3 million in the subsequent quarters.
Despite Singapore and Indonesia already rolling out vaccination programmes of their own, Khairy said Malaysia’s delivery schedule still places the country as “among the fastest” in Asia Pacific to access Covid-19 vaccines.
Khairy noted that Japan placed its order for the Pfizer vaccine in July and will receive it in February, which is the same time as Malaysia. South Korea placed its order for Pfizer vaccines in December, a month after Malaysia, and is scheduled to receive it in the third quarter of 2021.
“Malaysia is not slow in receiving vaccines. Yes, we are not among the first… But we are certainly not laggards,” he said. “Many developed countries have received their vaccines. This is because they have paid a lot to corner the market even before the availability of safety and efficacy data.
“We made informed procurement decisions based on clinical data assessment without having to pay huge premiums and down payments. And crucially we can learn from the rollout in other countries to ensure an effective implementation of our vaccination campaign.”