Malaysia Vaccine Rollout Needs Boost To Avoid Delays

Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 population, on a rolling 7-day average, is lower than Singapore, Indonesia, and India.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — At least 15,399 individuals must be vaccinated daily with their first Covid-19 vaccine dose for the government to achieve its goal of inoculating 500,000 frontliners by March 31. 

Since February 24, a total of 99,616 shots (first dose) have been administered as of March 4. Since the vaccination programme started on different dates in different states, the average number of individuals vaccinated per day with their first dose between February 24 and March 4 was 11,068 per day. 

The daily target of 15,399 shots to the arm — a 39 per cent increase from the current 11,068 — does not take into account the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that has to be administered three weeks after the first dose. 

This will begin on March 17, three weeks from February 24, when those who have received their first dose will then come in to get their second dose. Hence, vaccinators will not only be administering individuals getting their first dose, but also those getting their second dose. 

Meanwhile, in order for the government to achieve its target in vaccinating 26 million of the population by December 31 to achieve herd immunity, a total of 93,066 individuals will have to be vaccinated per day (with the first dose) nationwide from April 1 during the beginning of Phase Two for high-risk individuals. The target doubles to 186,132 shots to the arm daily for full vaccination with a two-dose regimen.

Earlier, CodeBlue had reported that Selangor, with many health care facilities, has one of the slowest Covid-19 inoculation rates in the country, just ahead of Sabah, with only 99.16 per 100,000 population. 

Dr Helmi Zakariah, from the Selangor Task Force Covid-19 (STFC), pointed out that the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) human resource is limited as the same people handling the Covid-19 assessment centres are the ones handling vaccination. 

According to Our World In Data, as compared to other countries, Malaysia’s 0.01 daily doses administered per 100 population, on a rolling seven-day average, is lower compared to Singapore (0.26), Indonesia (0.04), and India (0.04) as of March 1. 

Although on March 3, a total of 27,049 individuals were vaccinated, Malaysia had only vaccinated 0.04 per 100 population with their first dose, lower than Indonesia (0.13), but higher than India (0.07) and Australia (0.07).

In terms of cumulative vaccination per 100 population with the first dose, Singapore, as of March 1, had the highest number of individuals vaccinated per 100 population (8.97), followed by India (1.08), Indonesia (1.04), Australia (0.13), Malaysia (0.08), and Japan (0.03). 

Singapore had started their vaccination programme on December 29 last year, while India started theirs on January 16.

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