KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Malaysia administered 20,813 daily shots to the arm on average over the past three weeks in Phase One of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The average daily Covid-19 vaccine doses administered nationwide showed only a minimal increase across the first phase of the inoculation drive, amid the ongoing administration of the second dose to complete vaccination of health care workers and other frontliners.
Between March 5 and March 11, the average daily doses administered in Malaysia (both first and second dose) was 21,470 doses daily. Following that, between March 12 and March 18, the average daily shots to the arm dropped to 19,317 daily doses.
Then, between March 19 and March 25, the average doses administered nationwide increased to 21,651 doses per day. Official data on Covid-19 vaccination was only made available from March 2, after the vaccine rollout started on February 24.
The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) targets to administer all 500,000 frontliners with at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by March 31.
As of March 25, a total of 443,124 individuals have been vaccinated, or received their first dose. This translates to 88.6 per cent of the government’s target.
The vast majority of frontline workers registered in the first phase of the national inoculation drive received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, although some were inoculated with China’s Sinovac shot, also a two-dose regimen, after 200,000 finished doses arrived in Malaysia recently.
A total of 536,681 doses have been administered nationwide as of March 25, comprising both the first and second dose. This does not equate to 536,681 people who have been vaccinated, as 93,557 people received the second dose after getting the first.
As only 93,557 second doses have been administered, it means that only 18.7 per cent of 500,000 frontliners have received the completed dosage of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Since March 16, frontliners who received their first dose of the Covid-19 started coming in to get their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has to be administered three weeks apart from the first dose.
However, although the administration of the second dose started on March 16, data on the number of second doses administered was only made available by the government from March 18.
Between March 19 and March 25, the number of daily first doses administered remained in the range of 3,727 doses to 9,716 doses, an average of 8,399 doses a day.
If this average is maintained, and with 56,876 first doses left to be administered, it will take seven days to achieve the government’s target of vaccinating all frontliners with at least the first dose, which is one day behind schedule.
Between March 19 and March 21, the number of daily first doses administered nationwide was higher than the second dose administered. This could be due to the fact that different states started their vaccination programme on different days, hence the administration of second doses also started on different days.
From March 22 onwards, the number of daily first doses administered remained lower than the second doses administered. One reason for this is that a few states and territories like Perlis, Terengganu, and Labuan had already vaccinated all their frontliners and are only administering second doses currently.
The average number of daily second doses administered over the past week was 13,252 doses. With 406,443 frontliners left to get the second dose, it will take a month for all frontliners to be completely vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine.
This means the vaccination of frontliners with the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will overlap with Phase Two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme starting next month.