PUTRAJAYA (Malaysia), Feb 23 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday observed the preparations being made by the National Cancer Institute (IKN) here ahead of the implementation of the first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme which begins this Wednesday (Feb 24).
IKN is one of the 54 Vaccine Storage Centres (PSV) set up nationwide that will supply vaccines on a scheduled basis to the four Vaccine Distribution Centres (PPV) in Putrajaya which have been identified.
Muhyiddin arrived at IKN at 6.10 pm and was greeted by Health Minister Dr Adham Baba and Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Also present was Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Prime Minister spent about 35 minutes at the IKN and was given a closed-door briefing by IKN director Dr Mohd Anis Haron @ Harun before being taken to visit the PSV and PPV there.
The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement issued in conjunction with the visit, said there are a total of 54 PSV and 605 PPV nationwide.
The vaccine stock sent to the IKN is for use in the first phase of the implementation of the immunisation programme involving 7,020 people including health and non-health personnel.
The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme will be rolled out in three phases starting Feb 24 and its first phase, which is until April will involve 500,000 frontline workers.
The second phase, which will take place from April to August involves 9.4 million people from the high-risk groups including senior citizens aged 65 and persons with disabilities while the third phase from May this year to February 2022 will cover both Malaysians and non-citizens aged 18 and above, targetting more than 13.7 million people.
According to the statement, the government’s approach is to ensure that at least 80 per cent of the Malaysian adult population receive the vaccine by Feb 2022 to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
The first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine involving 312,390 doses safely arrived in Malaysia on Sunday (Feb 21) through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sepang; Johor (south Malaysia) and Penang (Malaysia’s northern state).
The statement said that the Comirnaty® vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech was sensitive to temperature and should be stored in an Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer (ULTF) with a temperature of -90 degrees Celsius to -60 degrees Celsius, to ensure it can function at an optimum level.
“The vaccine has a shelf life of up to six months from its manufacturing date,” it said.
The vaccine will be transferred to cold boxes with a temperature of 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius and placed in top-loading refrigerators, with the same storage temperature upon arrival at PPV.
“The Comirnaty® vaccine stored at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius has a shelf life of up to five days or 120 hours,” the statement said.