Pfizer vaccine arriving a week early

MALAYSIA will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a week earlier, with supplies arriving before the first phase of the national Covid-19 immunisation plan begins on Feb 26, said health minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

He said the early delivery was to vaccinate the 7,000 people who will have the task of providing the vaccination to the public.

“We need to prioritise those who are assigned to provide the vaccination and 7,000 vaccinators have been chosen for early shots,” he said.

The government signed an agreement with Pfizer (Malaysia) for the supply of 12,799,800 doses of vaccine to be delivered at the end of February. The amount is sufficient to cover 20% of Malaysia’s population, with two doses per person.

Dr Adham said the vaccine will be received in phases, with 148,000 doses for the first phase.

The ministry has identified 55 vaccination storage locations throughout the country equipped with ultra low temperature freezers as the Pfizer vaccine must be kept at -70°C.

He said 600 vaccination centres will be opened throughout the country, with a medical officer and nurse among seven personnel at each centre.

“We estimate we can provide 210 vaccinations at each location daily and if it goes smoothly … a total of 120,000 shots can be carried out every day at all 66 vaccination centres,” he said.

The vaccination centres will be located in strategic areas and will have the proper equipment to store the vaccines.

“The vaccination centres need to be organised and tidy and the vaccination process will be carried out in a certain number because we do not want people to form long queues.

“In addition, we need to provide a resting period of 30 minutes for those taking the vaccine because we do not want any side effects after the shot,” he said. – Bernama