JAKARTA, Indonesia

The Malaysian prime minister Wednesday received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, marking the start of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The inoculation was broadcast by various media platforms, including television and social media.

After receiving the jab, Muhyiddin Yassin promoted the vaccination program with a slogan, “Protect Yourself, Protect All.”

The Health Ministry’s Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah also received the vaccination, followed by health workers.

Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said earlier that the country aims to vaccinate 80% of the population under three phases, starting with frontliners from Wednesday till April.

The first phase aims to inoculate 500,000 frontliners by April. So far, 571,802 workers have signed up to receive the jabs.

The second phase of the vaccination campaign will take place from April to August, targeting the elderly, aged 65 and above and high-risk groups as well as persons with disabilities, while the third phase from May to February 2022 will cover adults aged 18 and above.

Malaysia has secured 66.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility from five companies, including Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, CanSinoBIO, and Sputnik V.

The country has so far recorded over 290,000 COVID-19 cases, including 1,088 deaths and more than 260,000 recoveries.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta.