KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — The National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan due to start this month end is crucial to restoring Malaysia’s economy, said Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin.

In a blog post today, Khairy also stressed that any disruption to the implementation of the programme could see the extension of the various phases of the movement control order (MCO) nationwide and undermine efforts to revitalise the economy.

 “If we believe in science, we will believe in the Covid-19 vaccine. If we are sure, as many people as possible will receive their injections. When many people receive this vaccine, the number of infections will start to drop. 

“The number of deaths and patients admitted to the ICU (intensive care units) will begin to decline. When infection decreases, more economic and social activities can be carried out without strict regulations. 

“This is a direct link between successful immunisation programmes and economic recovery. It is very closely related.

“Thus, any disruption in the immunisation programme, coupled with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, will continue to lead the country towards economic uncertainty and movement control order implemented now could continue,” said Khairy.

He had also debunked several misconceptions and claims surrounding the vaccines procured by Malaysia and stressed that scientific data must prevail. 

“I want to stress again that the vaccines obtained by Malaysia are safe and effective. It was tested on tens of thousands of recipients before being approved. Millions of people around the world are beginning to receive their injections.  

“There is no evidence that these vaccines are harmful to their lives or health. This vaccine will not change the DNA of the recipient. This vaccine does not contain microchips to take over our thinking.  

“This vaccine is not the agenda of the Illuminati who want to establish a New World Order. This vaccine is produced by science. We must be confident in science and not contagious conspiracy theories in family WhatsApp groups or housing areas, citing false sources. Science must win,” he said.

To recap, the vaccines will be administered in three phases. The government aims to prioritise its first batch of 500,000 vaccines for frontliners, especially in healthcare, police, Rela, Bomba and civil defence sectors. This will be carried out until April 2021. To boost confidence in the vaccine, Khairy has also confirmed that the prime minister will be the first recipient of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The second phase, which covers 9.4 million people, will include senior citizens above 60, people with non-communicable diseases and people with disabilities. The second vaccination phase is expected to run from April to August 2021.

For the remaining individuals including all adults aged 18 years and above, their vaccination will be in phase three that will run from May 2021 to February 2022.