Phase two Covid-19 vaccination to begin on April 19 in eight states

Khairy Jamaluddin

PUTRAJAYA: Phase two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, covering senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PwD) and those with chronic diseases, will begin on April 19 in eight states, said the programme’s Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Phase two will kick off with Kedah, Melaka, Penang, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and the Federal Territory of Labuan, to be followed a few days later by other states according to the readiness of the vaccination centres and staff, he said.

Khairy said potential vaccine recipients would be notified of their appointment dates through the MySejahtera application from today.

“Notifications will be sent out at least 14 days before the appointment date for receiving the vaccine, with reminders to be sent three days and one day in advance via short messaging service and call centres,” he told a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on the immunisation programme here today.

He said attendance is compulsory for those who have registered and pressed the button for confirmation to receive the vaccine, as thorough preparations have been made by vaccination centres and the allocated vaccines should not go to waste.

Khairy said several proposals would be tabled at a meeting of the Special Committee on Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) with the Human Resource Ministry tomorrow, including asking employers to allow workers to go for their vaccination appointment.

“Employers cannot prevent their workers from going for the vaccination session. We will propose or compel employers to grant leave to these workers to get vaccinated. The decision on this will be announced later,” he said.

Khairy said a proposal would also be made to the National Security Council (MKN) to allow interstate travel for people wishing to help dependants in the kampung who are too weak to go to vaccination centres on their own.

On the first phase of the immunisation, Khairy said 62,837 healthcare frontliners had not yet received their jabs, including personnel of government and private healthcare facilities, private healthcare laboratories, private ambulance operators and palliative care centres.

“A directive has been issued for these people to be given priority in getting the vaccine in April for us to complete phase one,” he added.

He said that 7,906,913 individuals or 32.6 per cent of the country’s population had registered via MySejahtera while 514,036 individuals had received at least one dose of the vaccine under the immunisation programme.

The five states with the most vaccines given out are Selangor with 106,660 doses, followed by Perak (81,171 doses), Sarawak (80,879), Sabah (73,125) and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (71,562).

Putrajaya recorded the highest sign-up rate at 89 per cent, followed by Selangor at 45 per cent and the FT of Kuala Lumpur (44 per cent), said Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister.

Sabah has the lowest registration rate at 12 per cent, followed by Kelantan (20 per cent), Pahang and Terengganu (26 per cent each) and Kedah (27 per cent), and focus would be given to these five states to boost the registration rates, he said.

Khairy said 593 vials of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were spoilt because of storage temperature problems — 585 vials during delivery from Pfizer and which have been returned to Pfizer, and eight vials during delivery within the country. – Bernama