PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia will on Tuesday (Feb 16) launch a Covid-19 vaccination handbook with guidelines on the nation’s vaccine procurement strategy, and the implementation and observation of the vaccination programme, the government announced on Monday.

The handbook on the National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan will be unveiled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at 9.30am, the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) said on Twitter.

The committee also urged Malaysians to register for the vaccination programme via mobile app MySejahtera.

On Friday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirmed that Muhyiddin would be the first person in the country to receive the vaccine to boost public confidence over its safety.

He also urged Malaysians to support the national Covid-19 immunisation programme that will start at the end of this month in order to help the economy recover.

On Sunday, Mr Khairy gave his assurance that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and has been tested on tens of thousands of recipients before being approved, and asked Malaysians not to listen to conspiracy theories.

“Millions of people around the world are beginning to receive their injections. There is no evidence that these vaccines are harmful to their lives or health.

“This vaccine will not change the DNA of the recipient.

“This vaccine does not contain microchips to take over our thinking, ” he said in a statement on his website. He also rubbished claims the vaccination was an “Illuminati agenda to establish a New World Order”.

“This vaccine is produced by science. We must be confident in science and not conspiracy theories in family WhatsApp groups or housing communities citing fake sources. Science must win, ” he said.

Khairy, who is also the coordinating minister for Covid-19 Immunisation, noted on his Twitter that the vaccine would reduce Covid-19 cases, the severity of cases and deaths.

“When infection decreases, more economic and social activities can be carried out without too strict restrictions.

“Countries that have launched the Covid-19 immunisation programme have started to show positive economic recoveries, ” he said, noting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected the global economy to improve by 5.5 per cent this year.

“The World Bank predicts that the Malaysian economy will grow at a rate of 6.7 per cent by 2021, but this depends on the effectiveness of the immunisation programme, the country’s export position and the level of investment in Malaysia, ” he added.

Khairy said the successful implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme was important to ensure that this prediction was achieved and for more economic activities to resume.

The government announced that the first phase of the immunisation programme involving 500,000 medical and non-medical frontliners is expected to be completed by April.

The second phase from April to August would target 9.4 million people from high-risk groups such as those aged 60 and above with medical problems such as heart ailments, high blood pressure or diabetes, and the disabled.

The third phase, expected to be carried out from May till February next year, would involve the rest of the population.

The country recorded 2,464 new cases on Sunday, the first time the number dipped below 2,500 since Jan 11. The number of confirmed cases to date stands at 264,269.

Seven more people died from the virus on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 965 or a 0.4 per cent death rate.