Can I choose the COVID-19 vaccine?

Health

Introduction

Vaccination coverage has been chosen as a Threshold Indicator for Malaysia’s National Recovery Plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine supply, access to vaccination centres, and vaccination speed are critical in reaching at least 70% vaccination coverage in our country in order to achieve herd immunity. However, according to the vaccination programme, the efficacy of the covid 19 vaccine (vaksin coronavirus) and the safety of the vaccine should be prioritised.

Can I choose the COVID-19 vaccine?

Available covid 19 vaccine in Malaysia

Malaysia has successfully obtained 66.7 million doses of covid 19 vaccine from five vaccine manufacturers through the COVAX Facility. Malaysia will receive these vaccines in stages, with permission from the Drug Control Authority (DCA) and the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) (NPRA). Currently, the supply of covid 19 vaccines that have been acquired are Pfizer, Sinovac, Astra-Zeneca, Janssen, and CanSinoBio.

Is one COVID-19 vaccine more effective than other?

Access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations for all Malaysians is a main goal for the Ministry of Health (MOH). This indicates that each and every covid 19 vaccine available in Malaysia has been proved to efficiently protect against the virus.

Will people be able to select the type of COVID-19 vaccine that they receive?

At the time being, the answer is no. The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme by MOH aims to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible, provided with at least 70 to 80 percent of vaccination coverage in Malaysia. The vaccination campaigns are working hard to speed up the immunisation procedure, it claims that giving options for vaccination will slow down the entire process. Meanwhile, MOH has announced that they are considering enabling the public to select their own immunizations via MySejahtera app in the near future. According to the clinical practical guidelines by MOH for covid 19 vaccination, priority will be given for those who are at risk and states at risk first, to reduce the number of infections.

As we know, the lack of manpower is one of the reasons why the vaccination programme progressed in a slow manner and kept on being delayed. This also encouraged the government to enable private hospitals to undertake a parallel vaccination programme in addition to the government’s effort.

Conclusion

This Covid 19 pandemic is a critical moment for us Malaysian. It is important to always be aware and updated, playing the role of a good citizen. As the number of cases increases drastically, please do follow the covid 19 SOP and ensure personal hygiene. Rumours and false information about the vaccination has been spreading around, impinging fears among people. It is recommended to clarify the information with health professions before any action or decision is made.