KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Phase Two of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme will start in the Klang Valley slightly later than the April 19 launch for eight states and territories, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
Kedah, Melaka, Pahang, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu, and Labuan will begin immunising the elderly above 60 years of age, the disabled, and those with comorbidities under Phase Two from April 19 onwards, while other states will start a few days later.
“It’s also just a few days late based on the vaccination centres, delivery of the vaccines, and the preparedness of the health care staff to handle Phase Two,” Khairy said during his weekly press conference on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) at Putrajaya today.
“It’s not so late. There will be some starting on (April 22) and some on (April 26), so this is more on preparedness on the ground,” added the vaccine minister.
Khairy, however, did not specify when exactly other states will be starting Phase Two. A total of 3,097,039 individuals who have signed up to receive the coronavirus vaccine fall under the Phase Two category.
A total of 1.2 million of them fall in the elderly group, 1.7 million have comorbidities, and 115,249 individuals are people with disabilities. This, however, is only 32.8 per cent of the government’s target of vaccinating 9.4 million people in Phase Two.
The science, technology and innovation minister did not give the state breakdown for the three million high-risk individuals who have registered for Covid-19 vaccination.
It is unclear why the capital of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the country’s most developed state, are starting Phase Two of the national inoculation drive later, since the Klang Valley has the highest concentration of health care providers in the country.
Based on the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the proportion of individuals above the age of 60 in the Klang Valley is relatively low compared to the other eight states.
The proportion of individuals above the age of 60 compared to the total population is 11.6 per cent in Kuala Lumpur, 8.8 per cent in Selangor, and 4.6 per cent in Putrajaya.
Meanwhile, the proportion of the elderly compared to the total population in the other eight states are — Kedah (12.5 per cent), Melaka (12.7 per cent), Pahang (11.3 per cent), Penang (12.5 per cent), Sarawak (11.8 per cent), Terengganu (9.1 per cent), Labuan (7.8 per cent), and Sabah (6.1 per cent).
Khairy also said Malaysia is expecting delivery of 177,840 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine this week, but did not announce any other incoming vaccine deliveries.
He reportedly said yesterday that Malaysia was scheduled to start receiving deliveries of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine in May. But Khairy cautioned a possible delay in the use of the shot, in light of UK reports of seven people who died from unusual blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Malaysia’s current supply of 1.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses (one million Pfizer and 200,000 finished Sinovac doses) at hand only suffices for some 600,000 frontline workers listed under Phase One of PICK.