PRIME Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that MPs and state assemblypersons will be among the first group that will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccines, when it arrives end of this month.
According to Malay daily, Berita Harian, the premier made the decision considering the fact that lawmakers spend a lot of time on the ground, mingling with the public.
“The Government has decided that MPs and state assemblypersons, irrespective of their political affiliations, will receive COVID-19 vaccines under the first phase,” Muhyiddin was reported saying after launching the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Guidebook virtually, earlier today.
The Pagoh MP added that the decision to inoculate lawmakers was also supported by the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Special Committee (JKJAV).
Three days ago, the Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) president Amrahi Buang had urged the Government to vaccinate MPs and state assemblypersons first as soon as the COVID-19 vaccines arrive, as they are the people’s representatives.
“Lawmakers should lead by example among their constituents. This is a must in order to ensure the effectiveness of our National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
“It was heartening that the minister in charge of the programme, Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that Muhyiddin will be the first Malaysian to get himself inoculated with the vaccine,” Amrahi told FocusM.
Amrahi’s suggestion was lauded by the Malaysian Association of Public Health Physicians president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, saying inoculating political leaders would boost public confidence on the efficacy of the vaccines.
The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme will begin on Feb 26, in three phases. Muhyiddin will be the first Malaysian to receive the vaccine shot on the day, together with frontliners.
On related matter, COVID-19 Immunisation Coordination Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that the 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, under the first phase, will involve 300,000 frontliners and another 200,000 non-frontliners.
The Government is projecting to inoculate 80% of the population, or 27 million people, by the first quarter of 2022. – Feb 16, 2021.