Armed Forces, MASkargo ready and primed for vaccine delivery process

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Armed Forces (ATM) will provide coordination assistance in movement control and logistics management of the Covid-19 vaccine which will arrive in Malaysia on Sunday (Feb 21).

Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, in a statement Saturday (Feb 20), said ATM would escort the vaccine’s movement from vaccine storage centres (VSC) to vaccine administration centres (VAC) throughout the country.

“ATM has outlined the vaccine management and handling action plan to ensure the immunisation programme can be implemented in an orderly manner, achieve its goals and reducing wastage of vaccines,” he said.

He said ATM’s representatives were also placed with the secretariat at national and state levels to assist the Health Ministry and the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) to plan the implementation of the immunisation programme, especially in coordinating logistics assistance at VSC and VAC.

“The ATM’s roles in terms of logistics assistance include storage, delivery and distribution besides security control at all phases of the programme implementation.

“We have also outlined the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme at the ATM level based on the priority given by the government to ATM members as vaccine recipients,” he said.

Affendi said the immunisation programme could maintain ATM’s capacity and preparedness in protecting the country’s wellbeing and sovereignty, and ultimately achieve the herd immunity objective.

Through the action plan, the vaccination process will be supervised in stages by the ATM’s Health Services Division.

Meanwhile in PUTRAJAYA, MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) said it had formed a special team for the process of receiving the first shipment of Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccine, said its chief operations officer Mohd Zulkefly Ujang.

He said the team, set up two months ago, comprises 30 members who have expertise in vaccine management.

“The team will manage the vaccine when the shipment arrives here this Sunday as well in the following phases. The members have been given adequate training,” he told Bernama.

MASkargo, which is the air cargo division of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, had been given the task to coordinate the responsibility of receiving the vaccine at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Malaysia will be receiving 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, the first delivery to Malaysia, under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme which will be implemented in phases beginning Feb 26.

The first phase of the programme starts from February to April involving frontline workers, followed by the second phase from April to August for the high-risk groups, namely senior citizens aged 60 and above and vulnerable groups with morbidity problems as well as the disabled.

The third phase from May this year till February next year, involves adults aged 18 and above

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will receive his vaccine on the first day of the programme implementation, along with the country’s frontline workers.

Mohd Zulkefly said MASkargo’s expertise in handling the vaccine has been recognised because it had been managing and receiving various types of vaccines on a daily basis.

“We manage numerous types of vaccines not only Covid-19… if the vaccines need to be stored first at KLIA, we have the facilities,” he said. – Bernama