On 11 February 2021 the Malaysian Cabinet has agreed that the Covid-19 vaccination programme to begin at the end of this month will be given freely to non-citizens residing in Malaysia, but Malaysians will remain top priority, says the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply.
In a joint statement issued by the ministries of Health and Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), the Special Committee said that this was decided by the ministers at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday 10 Feb, as it was not only the humane thing to do but also practical in efforts to reach herd community.
Malaysian citizens, however, will be the first in line and prioritised before foreigners residing in Malaysia will be allowed access to the programme.
The statement also assured there were more than adequate vaccines for the programme and there was an urgent need for as much of the Malaysian population as possible to be vaccinated.
The Special Committee said that this decision was taken after considering the existence of large clusters in certain economic sectors that included foreign workers.
The joint statement also said that providing access to vaccines for all, including foreigners, was in line with the theme “Protect Self, Protect All” of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
“The Cabinet, which met on Wednesday, agreed that the National Covid-19 Programme to begin at the end of this month will also include free vaccination for all communities of non-Malaysians residing in Malaysia.
“In line with the theme of the programme and the approach that ‘no one is safe unless everyone is safe’, the free vaccination will take into account a few factors.
“A safe Covid-19 environment can only be achieved if most residents of Malaysia are vaccinated.
“Vaccination in a pandemic is being humane and there are records of many cases in clusters which included foreign workers in the agricultural, construction and manufacturing sectors.
“The treatment and quarantine costs involving those infected from the clusters of foreign workers are high.
“Foreign workers have become part of our community and contribute to the national economy.
“There have also been a few countries which have provided our citizens abroad with vaccines.”