KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Khairy Jamaluddin today projected 40 per cent of Malaysia’s total population will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of August, in line with the National Recovery Plan.
The vaccine minister added that he estimated complete vaccination coverage of 60 per cent of the population by the end of September, slightly earlier than the end October schedule to move to the last phase in November under the government’s exit strategy.
“That’s based on our capacity to vaccinate, and also the indicative delivery schedule,” Khairy said at the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia’s virtual 45th annual general meeting today.
“So if there are no big hiccups in the delivery schedule, I’m reasonably confident that we can achieve this by those two dates, end of August and end of September.”
“In November, 60 per cent, if not more, of the population will be fully vaccinated, so businesses can start planning at least as far as the vaccination rate is concerned based on these thresholds, and based on the timelines that have been indicated.”
The science, technology, and innovation minister also mentioned that he is planning to do a countdown in July or August to reach the government’s 80 per cent vaccination target.
“So we can start seeing the countdown of vaccination to 80 per cent and get the people behind the vaccination programme,” he said.
“I can see because many countries have plateaued after they vaccinated about 60 per cent of the population because the remainder of the population, they don’t want to be vaccinated.
“So that’s when we really have to compare and get all those people who have not registered. Please register, please vaccinate yourself so that everyone is protected.”
Khairy also aims to finish inoculating 80 per cent of adults in Labuan by July this year with complete Covid-19 vaccination, while this target has been set in August for adults in Selangor, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Johor and Penang will be able to complete vaccinating 80 per cent of their adult residents by October and Kelantan by November.
Sabah, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, and Perlis will complete coronavirus inoculation of 80 per cent of their adult population in December, according to Khairy’s projection.
“Some states will complete vaccination by the end of August, early September, you’re going to start seeing a decrease in the capacity needed in September, October onwards, as we reach the target of 80 per cent of our population by December,” he said.
“So the planning that we do on a daily basis at the Covid Immunisation Task Force takes into consideration great details of the supplies or the distribution of the utilisation, and to ensure that we have a utilisation ratio that is 90 per cent or higher to ensure that no vaccines are being kept in the freezer.”
The vaccine minister also pointed out that if the government can achieve its target of complete vaccination of 40 per cent of the population in Malaysia quicker, followed by a reduction of daily Covid-19 cases, then the government will include more industries to be opened up sooner.
“Well, the contingency plan is, if there are interruptions in vaccine supplies from one particular supplier, then we are obviously talking to other suppliers right now to ensure that we can get additional deliveries to top up for whatever supplies that may have been received,” said Khairy, without elaborating.
According to the National Recovery Plan, Malaysia aims to inoculate 40 per cent of its population to move to Phase Three of movement restrictions in September and October. That will also pave the way for businesses to resume operations at 80 per cent capacity and a gradual reopening of social activities.
Khairy also mentioned that Covid-19 vaccines will enter the private market by August. He said that private vaccination will help the government ramp up the national Covid-19 vaccination programme, as those who are able to pay for the vaccines will be able to do so.
“I also anticipate by about August, we will have a private vaccine market. So right now, it’s difficult for private because vaccines are in short supply. But by August, I think that there will be some companies who will be approved to bring in some private vaccines from China. I know Sinopharm and all that are going to be registered here,” Khairy added.
“That’s also part of the plan. I’ve been talking to the Ministry of Health to ensure that the private market by August can take off to help us.”