Ray of hope for Malaysia as Covid-19 vaccine programme starts today

After a year of battling Covid-19, there was a new dawn for Malaysians with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme today.

At 2.43pm, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became the first Malaysian to receive the vaccine at Klinik Kesihatan Putrajaya in Presint 11.

The vaccine was administered by head nurse Lina Ibrahim from the Putrajaya Health Department.

The second recipient was Clement Marai Francis, 36, a driver with the department while Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was the third to be administered the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Highlights of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme that started this afternoon. Images by Health Ministry

Others who received their vaccinations were Dr Tan Yee Ling, 30, a health officer from Klinik Kesihatan Presint 9, Sheilla Mellissa Sikin, 31, a nurse from Klinik Kesihatan Presint 9 and Khairul Asraf Mohd Yasin, 44, an assistant medical officer from the Putrajaya Health Department.

Clockwise from top left: Clement, Dr Tan, Khairul and Sheilla. Images by Health Ministry

Under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, 80 per cent of the population will be vaccinated under three phases.

Frontliners will be administered with the vaccine from now until April. The second phase (April to August) will involve senior citizens, high-risk groups and those with disabilities while the third phase (May to February 2022) is for those aged 18 and above.

The World Health Organisation says the Covid-19 vaccines protect against the disease as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

The debate of getting vaccinated, however, lingers.

While many have expressed their eagerness to get vaccinated as they look forward to living in a safer and healthier environment, there are also those who remain skeptical.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

NO UNIFORM, NO PROBLEM

The Education Ministry has relaxed its rules, allowing students who have not bought their uniforms to attend school next month.

In a statement, the ministry said those without uniforms must wear “neat and appropriate attire” when school starts on March 1.

The relaxation of rules applies from March 1-26.

SUGARBOOK FOUNDER CHARGED

Sugarbook founder Chan Eu Boon was charged at the Shah Alam magistrate’s court over a post about “sugarbabies”.

The 34-year-old claimed trial to using a website, http://technave.com, to publish a post entitled “Top 10 Sugar Baby Universities in Malaysia” with the intention to cause fear or unrest to the public at 10am on Feb 10.

The charge, under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, warrants a two-year jail term, fine or both upon conviction.

Magistrate Sabreena Bakar @ Bahari set March 26 for mention.

SPORTS BUBBLE FOR ELITE ATHLETES NOT PRISON, SAYS NSC CHIEF

The National Sports Council (NSC) has dismissed talk that its sports bubble approach is like a “prison”.

Its director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail added that coaches and athletes are free to stay within the council’s compound or train on their own.