KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): The government will soon open registration for Covid-19 vaccination to members of the public who are at least 18 years old, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

In a Facebook posting, the Ministry of Health (MoH) quoted the minister as saying that public vaccination is the final part of the three-phase National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan.

The first two phases entail the immunising of frontliners, followed by those with chronic diseases at high risk and senior citizens aged 60 years and above.

The government aims to vaccinate 70% or 23 million of the population to develop herd immunity, said Adham Baba during RTM's Bicara DR programme last night.

He said four goals of the plan are to protect frontliners, reduce mortality rates, build herd immunity and break the chain of infection.

According to him, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be received at the end of February had been given conditional approval by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). In addition, it also is the first Covid-19 vaccine to receive the World Health Organization's (WHO) validation for emergency use.

Adham Baba said an online survey by the ministry on vaccine receptiveness — which was carried out from Dec 21 and 28 last year, involving 212,000 respondents — showed that 67% of them had 90% confidence in the efficacy of vaccines.

Meanwhile, 16% of respondents rejected vaccines, while the remaining 17% were unsure, due to concerns over side effects and efficacy rates.

"Since Jan 13, about 32 million people worldwide have been injected with Covid-19 vaccines. This shows that vaccines are accepted by the international community. However. vaccines are not a solution. After being innoculated, we must still practice the new norms," he said.


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