KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — The federal government targets five states and federal territories to reach mass Covid-19 vaccination coverage by August, with Labuan expected to hit the milestone first.
Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin projected yesterday that 80 per cent of the total population in Labuan, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak, and Selangor would be fully vaccinated with two doses by the end of August, exceeding the national recovery target of vaccinating 40 per cent of the population.
“We are targeting the big states first. If we can get our capacity up to get more doses done by August or September, then we will mop up the rest by the end of September or October onwards,” he said during The Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia’s “The Path to Herd Immunity” public dialogue conducted online.
Tailing behind the five federal territories and states are Johor and Penang — set to be fully vaccinated at 80 per cent of their total population in October — followed by Kelantan in November. Vaccination efforts will continue in the remaining eight states comprising Sabah, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, and Perlis until the end of the year.
According to Khairy’s projection, the government is targeting to administer 52 million coronavirus vaccine doses to 26 million people by December this year, which accounts for 80 per cent of Malaysia’s total 32.7 million population.
The number of doses administered from June to August is expected to more than double from 5.8 million to 14.4 million amid expectations of faster vaccine deliveries from suppliers.
“I was instructed by the Cabinet and the Prime Minister to accelerate the vaccination exercise. That means, rather than phasing things out and leave things until December, we are trying to achieve the targets as quickly as possible.
“What I had to do was try to renegotiate some of the shipping or delivery schedules. We were able to do that, and now Pfizer has committed to 25 million doses in the third quarter of this year, and that will certainly ramp up the vaccination drive.
“We’ve also renegotiated our Sinovac delivery. We will get the entirety of our 12 million doses by the end of July. We’re also working together with AstraZeneca to ensure that the problems we see in Thailand, with the facility where we get our orders from, is overcome,” he said.
By September, the national Covid-19 vaccination rate is expected to be halved to seven million doses administered that month as most major states would have completed their inoculation drive, Khairy added.
Apart from a stable vaccine supply, the national immunisation programme will also be boosted by growing the number of Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPV) nationwide.
Currently, there are 714 operating PPVs across the country — excluding mobile and outreach vaccination exercises — with a combined maximum capacity to administer 256,023 doses daily.
Khairy said mobile vaccinators are going into villages and estates to inoculate people who are not registered through the MySejahtera mobile app.
“For people out in the field, in the estates, we have lifted this (registration through MySejahtera) requirement.
“What happens is we will send the vaccinators to the villages, and the people will be vaccinated. Their details will be uploaded into the system later. We’ve lifted all these requirements to make it as easy as possible for people to be vaccinated,” he said.
Khairy said while certain states will be fully vaccinated ahead of others by August, inter-state travel can only be allowed when at least 60 per cent of the total population has been fully vaccinated.
“At the moment, we are looking at a national threshold rather than a state threshold. There’s no point in allowing certain states to travel to certain states when there is the possibility of people from another state coming in and create another wave.
“We have to be very certain that it’s a national target right now,” he said.