Covid-19 Vaccines in Numbers

By Yeong Pey Jung

October 2021 STATISTICS
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AS OF AUGUST 31, Malaysia’s Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) recorded 71.9% of the population in vaccine registrations. However, if people under 18 years of age are excluded, more than 100% of the population demographic have been classified as registered.1 Five federal territories and states, namely KL, Putrajaya, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor, recorded registration rates of above 100%, while Penang placed 6th at 96.8%, followed closely by Melaka at 95.2% (Figure 1).2 With the exception of Kelantan (69.9%) and Sabah (53.9%), all states have achieved registration rates of above 80%.

Figure 2 illustrates substantial fluctuations in the number of daily registrations for Penang; July 22 recorded a low of 1,056 registrations while on July 26, this leaped to a high of 11,602 registrations.

The seven-day rolling average shows a more consistent trend, where a steady decline in registrations is observed from the first week of August. This is consistent with the expectation that the more people having registered to be vaccinated, the lower the number of new registrations will be.

Most registrations are completed through the MySejahtera application, with a nationwide percentage of 95.9% (Penang 98.8%).3 As of July, online registrations accounted for 5.3% (Penang 2.6%) of total registrations, while registrations made through phone calls stood at 0.1%.

As presented in Figure 3, the population with comorbidities is the highest among the three vulnerable groups, making up more than 20% of total registrations at 81.2% of all states and federal territories. The percentage of senior citizen registrations are between 11% to 19.8% for all states and federal territories, with the exception of Labuan (9.6%) and Putrajaya (5.2%). The differently-abled group has the lowest percentage of not higher than 3.5%, bolstering concerns regarding registration difficulties. Penang has set up a hotline to assist the elderly and differently-abled groups to secure appointment dates.4

Figure 4 shows a steady inclination of the seven-day rolling average of vaccine doses administered daily per 100 population. It peaked in the week of July 29 but declined subsequently for most states, with Labuan as the exception.

Putrajaya recorded the highest average dose administered per 100 population, at 6.8 doses, followed by KL at 6.4 doses. These numbers are considerably higher than for the rest of the states, with Labuan coming in third at 4.1 doses (but at a different time period). Penang’s highest average dose was 2.3 doses, administered at the start of the week of August 22. This also represented a period where most states, Labuan and Sarawak excluded, observed a second spike in the vaccine doses administered.

As mentioned, Penang observed similar patterns of spikes and dips in the vaccine doses administered when compared to the nationwide trend. Figure 5 shows a closer breakdown of vaccination stages for Penang, where the total and second doses administered illustrate a similar trend, with the former naturally recording a higher number of doses than the latter. But this pattern becomes dissimilar for the seven-day rolling average of first doses, where it steadily declined during the week of August 1.

As a whole, 60.5% of Malaysia’s total population have been vaccinated, with 46% being fully vaccinated.5 In considering only the population eligible for vaccination, 84.3% of the population have received at least one dose, while 64.2% are fully vaccinated. The populations in the federal territories of KL and Putrajaya, as well as the population above 18 years of age for Labuan, are considered to be fully vaccinated, with vaccination percentages well above 100% (see Note 1 below Table 1).

Labuan, Sarawak and Negeri Sembilan have the highest percentage of fully vaccinated populations, at 64.7%, 63.1% and 56.9% respectively. Penang is 8th on the list, with a 43.6% fully vaccinated population. In contrast, Kelantan (59.3%) and Sabah (58.3%) have the highest percentage of unvaccinated populations.

In taking into account Malaysia’s eligible population, the percentages vastly differ but the pattern remains largely the same. Labuan (94%), Sarawak (87.1%) and Negeri Sembilan (78.8%) maintain their respective positions as states with the highest percentage of vaccinated adult populations. Penang remains eighth on the list with 56.6% of its adult population being fully vaccinated, while Sabah (40.9%) and Kelantan (37.2%) have the highest percentages of unvaccinated adult populations.

The majority of fully vaccinated Malaysians are inoculated with Sinovac, with a nationwide percentage of 49.1%; Pfizer-BioNTech follows closely with 44.9% (Table 2). The proportion of those vaccinated with AstraZeneca is significantly lower at 5.3%. The single-dose CanSino, which was first administrated on August 26, stands at 0.1% and is used mainly in Sabah.6,7 The same pattern persists for the first vaccine dose.

In looking at the breakdown across states and federal territories, however, it is observed that a bigger proportion of Pfizer-BioNTech is administered. The exceptions where the administration of Sinovac outweigh that of Pfizer-BioNTech are in Melaka, Sarawak, Selangor and KL. KL also saw the highest percentage of AstraZeneca administration across all states and territories; in fact, the federal territory was the first to receive applications for the vaccine.

Most Penangites received Pfizer-BioNTech for partial (44.8%) and full (51.4%) vaccinations, while Sinovac made up 37.5% of partial and 41.1% of full vaccinations. Interestingly, Penang’s AstraZeneca recipients are the second-highest, with 17.6% partially vaccinated and 7% fully vaccinated.

Yeong Pey Jung

is a senior analyst with the Socioeconomics and Statistics Programme at Penang Institute. She is a reading enthusiast and is surgically attached to her Kindle.