PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The government has bought an additional six million Covid-19 vaccine doses and they are expected to arrive in early September, said newly appointed Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Datuk Seri Ismail said he remained optimistic that due to the success of the ongoing vaccination programme, people may soon be able to visit their parents in their hometowns, celebrate festivities and, for students, return to schools and higher learning institutions.
Citing the latest data from Friday (Aug 20), he said the daily number of new cases in the Federal Territory of Labuan in Sabah has dropped drastically to a single digit for seven days in a row after 90 per cent of the adult population there had received their vaccinations.
"In catalysing the achievement of herd immunity similar to Labuan and in conjunction with the (upcoming) National Day celebration, I am happy to announce the additional purchase of six million doses of vaccines, which will arrive in early September this year," he said in his maiden speech as premier on Sunday (Aug 22). Malaysia's National Day falls on Aug 31.
He said such talk was not just an empty dream, as the country had previously managed to bring down the cases of Covid-19 patients.
"This does not mean we will be completely free from the Covid-19 threat. Rather, when we achieve herd immunity, the virus will not pose a serious threat."
The Prime Minister also noted that the government will ensure that each intervention and effort to reduce Covid-19 cases will be done more comprehensively.
He explained that such efforts will be carried out via strategic inter-government cooperation with the involvement of public stakeholders as well as private sectors to ensure that the healthcare system becomes stable.
"Based on that, the government will pursue the previous government's efforts, as Malaysia's vaccination rate is among the fastest in the world.
"Malaysia consistently rolled out more than 500,000 doses per day," he said.
In order to achieve the target earlier, the government will ensure all the initiatives and strategies under the National Immunisation Covid-19 programme will be boosted.
Mr Ismail also thanked all Malaysians who had given their full cooperation in taking the vaccines.
"The capabilities to fight the pandemic more effectively need commitment from all Malaysians. To those who have yet to register for the vaccine, please do so immediately," he said.