KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Malaysia will receive the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccine this Sunday or five days earlier than previously scheduled, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin disclosed today.

At the launch of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan today, he also said the rollout of Malaysia’s vaccination programme will start on February 26.

“On that day, I will be the first to receive the vaccine along with medical frontliners,” he said.

The PM’s disclosure clarifies the announcements yesterday from the Sabah and Sarawak state governments that they would receive the first batch of the vaccine on February 22 for deployment on February 26.

Today, Muhyiddin reiterated that the national vaccination programme would be in three phases, with frontliners and high-risk groups to be vaccinated in the first two while healthy Malaysians adults would receive theirs in the last.

Children will not be vaccinated yet as none of the vaccines currently produced has been clinically approved for those under 18 years’ old.

“This holistic immunisation programme is to ensure herd immunity is formed within the community so that the Covid-19 chain of infection can be broken and the pandemic is ended,” Muhyiddin said.

The prime minister also urged all in the country not to treat the vaccination programme lightly, saying its success was essential in order for the country to return to social and economic normalcy.

Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin added later that the shipment on February 21 would consist of 312,390 doses, enough to vaccinate 156,195 people.

Khairy said the Pfizer-Biontech vaccines would arrive via a MASKargo flight at KLIA on Sunday, after which they would be sorted and dispatched to the various specialised storage facilities across the country.

Vaccination is voluntary in Malaysia and those who wish to participate in the immunisation programme may register their interest via the MySejahtera app or the VaksinCovid website launched today.

The world-stopping Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted virtually all facets of life in Malaysia, from keeping families apart to destroying the livelihoods of thousands.

The disease has also killed 975 people in the country and infected a total of 266,445 to date.