PUTRAJAYA: Members of parliament (MPs) and state assemblymen from both sides of the political divide will be among earlier recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme which will commence on Feb 26.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the matter was decided by the government after taking into consideration the nature of work among MPs and state assemblymen, who work closely with people on the ground.
“We have agreed for MPs and state assemblymen, irrespective of the political divide, to be included in the first phase of the immunisation programme. This is to allow them to carry out their duties effectively and in a safe manner,” he said in a press conference which was conducted virtually today.
Also present were Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
Muhyiddin said he had instructed Khairy and Dr Adham, who jointly chair the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee, to meet with leaders of all political parties to discuss the matter.
“Insyallah (God Willing), we will implement the programme once the (first batch of the Covid-19) vaccine arrives in the country,” he said.
The prime minister added that the government would also take into consideration requests from other groups such as the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) for their members to be among the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
“We will take into consideration all requests or applications including people in the media industry and of course teachers, who may possibly be defined as frontliners, as well as other groups of people in the community.
“As far as I am concerned, the people in these categories can be given vaccination at the earlier part of the programme due to the nature of their duties and responsibilities, which in every day operations involves (meeting) a lot of people.
“If we believe they will be at risk if they are not vaccinated, we will consider them among the first recipients of the Covid-19,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khairy said 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been prioritised for medical frontliners and 200,000 doses would be allocated for non-medical frontliners including security personnel, welfare officers as well as politicians under the first phase of the programme.
Source: New Straits Times