The government will expand the opt-in programme for the AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine, nationwide.

According to the coordinating minister for the National COVID-19 immunization programme, Khairy Jamaluddin, this would be done when the country receives yet another batch of 1.1 million of the vaccines, from the Covax facility, this month.

It is worth noting that the previous batch of 268,00 slots of the AZ vaccines were snapped up within three hours, after it was put up online for residents of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor on Sunday, on a voluntary basis.

Those who successfully registered for the AZ vaccines have begun receiving their vaccination appointments via the MySejahtera app, as early as Monday morning.

Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the following batch of AZ vaccines will cover those who lack access to the internet, among others.

It will remain as an opt-in voluntary programme, but will be made available at community outreach clinics, he was quoted saying by The Star.

After this month's arrival, Malaysia is expected to get another 600,000 doses of the AZ vaccine in June, followed by about 400,000 in July, and yet another 1.2 million in August and September.

Once all the AZ vaccines are in, it will be made available for all, including those without MySejahtera, he noted.

Malaysia has consistently recorded a high number of COVID-19 cases of late.

Yesterday, 2,500 news cases and 18 deaths, bringing the total number of cases and fatalities in the country to 417,512, and 1,551, respectively.

The global coronavirus infection and death tally has surpassed 154 million, and 3.22 million, respectively.

Source: The Star