KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Almost one-third of high-risk individuals have registered for the second phase of Malaysia’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), amid a surge of outbreaks across multiple states.
A total of 3,009,008 people from Phase Two have registered for Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia as of May 4, about 32 per cent of a targeted 9.4 million people aged 60 and above, those with underlying health conditions, and people with disabilities.
Out of the 3,009,008, residents in Selangor comprised the largest share at 22.71 per cent (683,291 people), followed by Johor (12.09 per cent, or 363,842 individuals), and Sarawak (11.58 per cent, or 348,310 individuals), according to data on Covid-19 vaccine registrations as of May 4 that the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) provided to CodeBlue.
This trend more or less follows elderly population figures. Selangor has the largest number of senior citizens with 575,840 people aged 60 and above, followed by Johor (428,809), Perak (397,329), and Sarawak (333,361).
The approximately three million Phase Two vaccine registrants include a total of 1,634,211 people aged 60 and above, 2,228,466 people with comorbidities, and 149,968 people with disabilities. These groups are not separate; some elderly people may also have underlying health conditions.
However, the government has yet to reveal how many senior citizens have been vaccinated.
It is to be noted that medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and dementia are diseases that may be suffered by elderly people and increase the risk of severe illness or death from Covid-19 infection.
Malaysia has a total of 3,502,621 people aged 60 and above in the country. Of them, close to half at 46.7 per cent, or 1,634,211 individuals, have registered for Covid-19 vaccines as of May 4.
In that same period, more than 60 per cent of elderly people above 60 years old in Putrajaya (61.7 per cent) and Sarawak (60.4 per cent) have registered for Covid-19 vaccines, the highest coverage of vaccine registrations among elderly populations in the country.
This was followed by Selangor (59.4 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (58.1 per cent), Negeri Sembilan (53.2 per cent), Labuan (51 per cent), and Penang (50.5 per cent), while other states and territories recorded less than half of their populations aged 60 and above registering for coronavirus vaccination.
Kelantan and Sabah reported less than 30 per cent vaccine registration rates among their elderly populations at 29.3 per cent and 28.6 per cent respectively, the lowest in Malaysia.
CodeBlue earlier reported that vaccinating elderly people will help to reduce Covid-19 deaths, as the country recorded 112 Covid-19 fatalities in the past week from April 28 to May 4, a 53 per cent increase from 73 deaths the previous week.
40.4% Of Adults Aged 18 And Above Registered For Jabs
Out of the total of 24,259,200 people aged 18 and above in the country, less than half, or 40.4 per cent, of them (9,803,586 people) have registered for Covid-19 vaccines as of May 4.
Putrajaya recorded the country’s highest Covid-19 vaccination rate among adults at 100.8 per cent. According to JKJAV data, Putrajaya has 56,900 residents aged 18 and above, but total vaccine registrations were higher at 57,331. This either implies a mistake with JKJAV reporting, or that some people below 18 had registered for jabs. Malaysia currently approves the use of Covid-19 vaccines only for adults aged 18 and above.
More than half of the 18-and-above population in Sarawak (53.1 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (52.6 per cent) and Selangor (52 per cent) have registered to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, the next highest vaccine registration rates among all adults.
In Kelantan, only 26.7 per cent of people aged 18 and above have registered for Covid-19 vaccines, while Sabah reported 16.1 per cent registrations among the same age group, marking the lowest Covid-19 vaccine registration rates in Malaysia.
The rate of Covid-19 vaccine registrations among elderly people aged 60 and above in Malaysia is higher than those aged 18 and above in all states and territories except Putrajaya.
This data did not include information for AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine inoculation programme, an opt-in voluntary stream parallel to PICK that currently supplies the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac shots.
The opt-in vaccination programme for AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which was opened to residents from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, saw all 268,600 available doses snapped up in a few hours after it was offered on a first-come first-serve basis.
Malaysia is in dire need of reducing the number of critically ill Covid-19 patients, as Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in government hospitals in Johor, Sarawak, Selangor and Kelantan are now either reaching full capacity or running at over-capacity.