GEORGE TOWN (Feb 21): A total of 16,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine arrived at the Penang International Airport (LTAPP) at 5.35pm today, via a special Cathay Pacific Cargo flight CX079.

The plane took off from Hong Kong and transited in Singapore before arriving in Penang. The vaccine was subsequently sent to the Vaccine Storage Centre (VSC).

Among the dignitaries present at LTAPP were Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, state health director Dr Asmayani Khalib and state police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan.

When contacted by Bernama, Sahabudin said that the state police had increased enforcement and security to accompany the vaccine that arrived at LTAPP today to be sent to the designated VSC.

He said that a special team would be involved during the transfer and delivery of the vaccine to several other locations in the state, including the place to carry out the vaccination process for frontliners.

“Police officers and personnel from various departments in the state are involved in accompanying the vaccine to ensure it arrives safely at the designated location without any threat from any party.

“There is no need to close the road for the movement of the vaccine because the police, especially the traffic team, are ready to accompany the vehicle carrying the vaccine. We (police) will always comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set to ensure that everything goes smoothly,” he said.

Dr Asmayani said Chow will be the first in the state to receive the vaccine shot in the state when the vaccination exercise commences next week.

Meanwhile, Chow hoped that the immunisation programme would address the pandemic, while also calling on the people to support the effort.