Judging by how things are looking, the war against the COVID-19 pandemic won't be over any time soon.
However, as pharmaceutical companies begin rolling out vaccines, we are one step closer to winning.
If you want to be one of the first few in the country who wants to get vaccinated, there's some good news for you.
The government has announced that they will be opening up registration for COVID-19 vaccination soon.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was quoted by The Malaysian Reserve
as saying that Malaysians who wish to get the COVID-19 vaccine can opt to sign up and give their consent for the injection.
The registration will be done via the MySejahtera app, Khairy said.
He added that the vaccination will be given on a voluntary basis, and the government is looking for Malaysians aged 18 years old and above.
However, the number of volunteers and the group of people will be decided by the government.
“We will start with a risk assessment of who is at high risk and we will start with that group. It will be announced after the Cabinet approves the plan.
“The general plan is to start with frontline workers first, co-morbidity and senior citizens, etc. After that, we will have to have a system where once a general population is being vaccinated, who will go first and where you will get vaccinated,” he was quoted as saying.
Once they've received the vaccine, the government will be monitoring the volunteers for side effects for a few years.
According to reports, the first batch of the vaccine, made by Pzifer, will arrive on our shores in February.
What you need to know about the Pfizer vaccine
As some countries around the world have already started rolling out the Pfizer vaccine, there are still some concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Here are some of the things you need to know about the vaccine:
Who developed the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine that we'll be getting in Malaysia in February was designed and developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Pfizer is an American firm and one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies while BioNTech is a German biotechnology company dedicated to the development and manufacture of active immunotherapies.
How does the vaccine work?
In layman's term, the Pzifer vaccine trains our immune system to fight the coronavirus. It is a new type of vaccine called RNA where it uses a tiny fragment of the virus' genetic code so that our immune system can learn to recognise its traits and begin to attack it. It's literally fighting fire with fire.
How effective is the vaccine?
Pfizer and BioNTech's clinical results have shown that vaccine to be 95 per cent effective. Even in worse case scenarios, it is said to be 90 per cent effective.
How many doses of the vaccine do we actually need?
According to Pzifer, we need two doses of the vaccine for it to be most effective. The dosages are given three weeks apart.
How long does it take for our body to build immunity?
It typically takes a few weeks for our body to build immunity after vaccination. Pfizer warned that it is still possible for an individual to contract COVID-19 before or right after receiving a vaccination as your body did not have enough time to develop immunity.
Is the vaccine safe?
According to the US Food & Drug Administration
, none of the 43,448 participants in the trial recorded any safety concerns or any enhanced disease after receiving the vaccination.
Will there be any side effects?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, a patient may experience mild side effects such as a sore arm, tiredness, headache and chills. The symptoms, said the CDC, will go away by itself within a few days.