SEPANG: The first phase of the national immunisation programme will kick start earlier this week on Wednesday, instead of Friday as previously announced.
Science, technology and innovation minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this to reporters after they received the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today.
“The prime minister (Muhyiddin Yassin) and health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will be the first individuals to receive the vaccine on Wednesday,” he told a press conference.
Khairy said that they will take the jabs at Klinik Kesihatan Putrajaya after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
To a question on why the government decided to bring the immunisation programme forward, Khairy said the health ministry had been well prepared for the past few months.
“Initially, we gave a few days for the vaccine to arrive at the storage centre and the NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency) needed to conduct a ‘lock release’ or inspection on the vaccine.
“Since everyone was prepared, the PM (Muhyiddin) said ‘let’s start early’ instead of Friday.”
The minister also said besides Muhyiddin and Hisham, several other medical officers and nurses will be receiving the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday.
“(Health minister) Dr Adham (Baba) will get his a few days later in Johor while I will make some arrangements to be vaccinated in Negeri Sembilan,” Khairy said.
Meanwhile, Adham said the government will hold talks with Pfizer so that Malaysia would be able to produce low dead-volume syringes and subsequently distribute them to other countries.
The low dead-volume syringes are needed to administer the Pfizer vaccine in exact doses without any wastage.
He previously said the health ministry needs 12 million such syringes to inject 20% of the country’s population, or six million recipients, under the first phase of the immunisation programme.