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Malaysia kicks off nationwide COVID-19 vaccine drive

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    Kyodo News

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   /   Wed, February 24, 2021   /   06:30 pm
Malaysia kicks off nationwide COVID-19 vaccine drive This handout from Malaysia's Department of Information taken and released on February 24, 2021 shows Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin receiving the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a government clinic in Putrajaya. (Agence France Presse/Maszuandi Adnan / MALAYSIA DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION )

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin kicked off the country's largest COVID-19 immunization exercise on Wednesday by becoming the first to get the vaccine jab.

The cancer-survivor was calm as he received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in an event telecast live from a coronavirus vaccination center in the federal administrative capital Putrajaya.

"I am confident the vaccine is safe and effective. Looking at my condition thus far, praise be to God," he said after the jab.

He urged all Malaysians and foreigners residing here to come forward to receive the free vaccine so that the country can break the chain of infection.

Muhyiddin will receive his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within 21 days to complete the inoculation process.

Malaysia purchased 32 million doses of the vaccine from the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The first batch of 312,390 doses arrived Sunday.

The country also has deals with other vaccine suppliers, including Britain's AstraZeneca and companies in China and Russia. It has secured enough doses for its entire population of 32 million people.

Health workers and other front-line workers will be inoculated in the first phase, followed by senior citizens and high-risk groups. Those in the general public aged 18 and older will be after that.

The entire program is expected to run through February next year.

Malaysia reported 2,468 new virus cases on Tuesday, with 14 deaths. The country has logged a total of 288,229 cases and 1,076 fatalities.

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