Malaysia’s government said on Thursday it expects to complete its COVID-19 immunisation programme by February next year, covering 80 per cent of its population of about 32 million people.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address that the first phase of the vaccine rollout from February to April will involve 500,000 frontline workers, followed by 9.4 million high-risk individuals who will be vaccinated between April and August.
A third and final phase will involve more than 16 million adults aged 18 and older, and will run from May to February next year, Muhyiddin said.
On Tuesday, the government said the first batch of the vaccine jointly developed by US drug maker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech is on track for delivery on February 26.
Malaysia has signed two deals with Pfizer to secure 25 million doses of the vaccine, besides agreements to buy 18.4 million doses of other vaccines produced by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
The Southeast Asian nation had also secured two separate vaccine shipments from AstraZeneca, including one arranged under the COVAX facility.