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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 5 — Malaysia will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a week earlier before the first phase of the national Covid-19 immunisation plan begins on February 26, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba today.
He said the vaccine needed to be received earlier to enable the 7,000 individuals tasked with providing the vaccination to be vaccinated themselves.
“We need to prioritise those who are assigned to provide the vaccination and 7,000 vaccinators have been chosen for early shots. Therefore, (the vaccine) is expected to be received a week earlier from February 26,” he said when met at his office here today.
On January 11, the agreement for the delivery of the first phase of the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT1262b to the entire country was signed between the Malaysian government, through the Health Ministry, with Pfizer (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
The agreement with Pfizer (Malaysia) involves the procurement of 12,799,800 doses of vaccine that will be supplied from the end of February, covering 20 per cent of Malaysia’s population, with two doses per person.
Dr Adham said the vaccine will be received in phases, with 148,000 doses for the first phase.
In addition, Dr Adham said the ministry has identified 55 vaccination storage locations throughout the country equipped with ultra-low temperature freezers (ULTF) as the vaccine requires to be kept at -70 degrees Celsius.
He added that the ministry is cooperating with Tenaga Nasional Bhd to ensure that there is no electricity supply disruption at the vaccine storage locations.
Regarding the 600 vaccination centres that will be open throughout the country, Dr Adham said seven personnel, including a medical officer and nurse, will be stationed at each vaccination centre.
“We estimate to provide 210 vaccinations at each location daily and if it goes smoothly... 120,000 shots can be carried out daily at all 66 vaccination centres,” he said.
He added that the ministry will ensure that the vaccination centres are located in strategic areas and have the proper equipment capable of storing the vaccine well.
“The vaccination centres need to be organised and tidy and the vaccination process will be carried out in a certain number because we do not want people to form long queues.
“In addition, we need to provide a resting period of 30 minutes for those taking the vaccine because we do not want any side effects after the shot,” he said.
Last Wednesday, Dr Adham said the ministry was prepared to implement the first phase of the national Covid-19 immunisation plan as soon as the supply of Pfizer-BioNTech vcaccine reaches Malaysia on February 26.
According to him, the early training session for the vaccine delivery to Belaga health clinic in Sarawak on January 29 and Bintulu Hospital on January 30 was successfully done without any issues.
The early training was to ensure the vaccine supply from Pfizer facility in Puurs, Belgium, which requires ultra-cold containers, reach Malaysia without any problems, he said. — Bernama