KUALA LUMPUR – The national vaccination programme is one of the key success factors to achieve the country’s planned economic and financial recovery this year, economists said, reported Bernama.
Malaysia is set to kick off its COVID-19 vaccination exercise on February 26 and has targeted to complete three phases of the immunisation programme by February 2022.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd economist Izuan Ahmad said successful implementation of the programme is of utmost crucial to provide sufficient coverage against the virus, as well as to instill overall positive sentiment across the consumer and business communities.
Despite the latest extension of the Movement Control Order 2.0 for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor until March 4, 2021, he said the recovery of economic growth for the country is still expected to undergo its due process.
Izuan said in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), the positive sentiment arising from the smooth implementation of the national vaccination programme is also expected to boost the incoming of more FDI into the country.
In line with the projected improvement in global trade activities within this year, the FDI is also a crucial contributor towards achieving the country’s economic recovery plan, with the anticipated boost in export income within the near term, he noted.
Bank Islam chief economist Dr. Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the start of the Malaysian vaccination programme will be the main premise for the reopening of the economy.
A successful vaccination programme rollout and the eventual herd immunity to be achieved tentatively by the first quarter of 2022 (1Q2022) would mean that consumer and business confidence should improve as the rate of infection could be reduced over time, he said.
As such, Afzanizam opined that it is of utmost importance to get everyone onboard for vaccination and the awareness campaign would need to happen to educate the public on how the vaccine would work and what it means by vaccination.
Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB analyst Ivy Ng Lee Fang, in a research note, said successful execution of the vaccination programme and the removal of the MCO in all but three states and the capital is likely to be viewed positively by the market as this reduces corporate earnings risk concerns.
The government has so far only provided a detailed timeline on the deliveries of Pfizer-Biotech vaccines but not for the other four vaccine types, she noted.
For Malaysia’s Pfizer vaccine order, the first batch of one million doses (for 500,000 people, at two doses each) is slated to arrive by the end-February, with another 1.7 million doses in 2Q2021, 5.8 million doses in 3Q2021, and 4.3 million doses in 4Q2021.