The COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary and will be free to all citizens and non-citizens living in Malaysia.
By February 2022, MOH is aiming to complete vaccinations for at least 80% of Malaysia’s adult population. As of March 4, 2021, over 99k vaccinations in Malaysia have taken place.
For those still waiting, here’s what you can expect from the procedures involved in the COVID-19 vaccination, from registration to post-inoculation observation.
Where Do I Fit In The Vaccination Timeline?
Phase 1 will take place from February to April 2021, consisting of 500,000 frontliners:
- Priority Group 1: Frontliners comprising of public and private healthcare personnel;
- Priority Group 2: Frontliners consisting of essential services, defence and security personnel.
These essential services include those in healthcare, police, the Volunteers Department of Malaysia (Rela), The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Bomba), and the civil defence sectors. You can check the full list here.
Mentioned sectors will be updated from time to time by JKJAV (Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee).
Phase 2 will take place from April to August 2021, comprising 9.4 million people in high-risk groups:
- Priority group 1: Remainder of the healthcare workers along with those in essential services, defence, and security personnel;
- Priority group 2: Senior citizens aged 60 and over, those with chronic diseases, and OKU individuals.
Listed chronic diseases include those with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure; information on this will be reviewed periodically.
The final phase will occur from May 2021 to February 2022, for the remainder of 13.7 million people and more:
- Priority group: Adult population aged 18 years and above (citizens and non-citizens).
Based on pandemic control measures, priority will be given to those in red zones, followed by yellow and finally green zones.
What Will The Vaccination Procedure Be Like?
Step 1: Register
Enrolment will be carried out through the MySejathera app, this website, and manually for those who lack access to digital methods.
Registration is ongoing on the app, and 1,468,137 people have enrolled since March 1.
To register manually, you can call JKKAV’s hotline (TBA) or visit a Klinik Kesihatan. For those in rural and remote areas, there will be an assigned assistance programme to enrol residents.
Step 2: Get Appointment Scheduled
Appointment details like the date and vaccination centre you’re assigned to will be notified through the MySejahtera app, a phone call, or SMS.
Step 3: Show Up At A VAC
Upon receiving your appointment details, you’ll just have to be present at your assigned Vaccination Administration Centre (VAC).
605 VACs have been identified by MOH thus far. Temporary vaccination centres like stadiums, convention centres, community halls, universities, etc. will be set up accordingly.
Step 4: Quick Symptom Assessment
At the hospital, a quick evaluation will take place involving a temperature check and close-contact screening.
Step 5: Identification Confirmation
Then, you will register using the QR code provided for identification purposes.
Step 6: Consultation & Providing Consent
After you’ve registered, you’ll go through a consultation on the benefits and risks of the jab. You’ll then be given authorisation forms to fill up and consent to receive the vaccine.
Step 7: Get Injected
Finally, you’ll receive the first dose of the vaccine!
Step 8: Short Observation Period
Once you’ve been jabbed, you’ll be kept under observation by medical staff for at least 30 minutes. This is to monitor for any immediate adverse reactions.
Step 9: Receive Vaccination Card
Facilitators will provide you with a vaccination card to confirm your inoculation, where you can then go home to rest.
For the CanSinoBio vaccine, which is the single-dose, the process will end here.
Step 10: Observation For Adverse Events
You can return to normal life but be aware of any side effects or Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI).
Side effects/AEFI can be reported by either informing the medical facility, through MySejathera, or the NPRA ConSERF site.
Out of the 5 vaccines the country is using, those that require second doses are:
- Pfizer & Sputnik V vaccines: 21 day-interval;
- AstraZeneca vaccine: 28 day-interval; and
- Sinovac vaccine: 14 day-interval.
The same procedures apply when getting the second dose. You’ll be reminded of your appointment the same way as the previous.
You’ll also receive the COVID-19 Vaccine Immunisation Digital Certificate upon its completion.
Common Side Effects & How To Report Them
Side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine that have been reported are mild and temporary. The most commonly reported ones are:
- pain/swelling/redness at the injection site
- feeling unwell
- joint pain
- swelling of the lymph nodes
For the MOH to monitor side effects and AEFI effectively, citizens will receive a scheduled MySejahtera notification to report them.
Health workers via the existing public healthcare system are also allowed to make AEFI reports for citizens.
“Investigations for serious AEFI will be conducted carefully, whereby a special expert committee will be set up to assess these cases and security issues related to the COVID-19 vaccines,” the handbook states.
If you’ve got lingering doubts on the potential effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, you could give our article on answering concerns a read here.
We interviewed an immunopathology specialist in order to better understand how the vaccine interacts with our system, who would really be at risk when getting the jab, and more.
- You can download the full National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme official handbook here.