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Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Shots on wheels: Malaysia goes mobile with mass vaccine rollout

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A medical worker gestures inside a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination truck in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 (Reuters) - Malaysia went mobile with its mass immunisation drive on Tuesday, with the rollout of the first of 40 vaccine trucks set to hit the highways in the coming months.

Malaysia is battling its worst outbreak of the coronavirus, with a per-capita infection rate higher than anywhere else in Southeast Asia following records in new daily COVID-19 cases and deaths on multiple days last month.

The government aims to deploy vaccination trucks to areas where people might have difficulty getting to immunisation centres.

"It opens up more chances to the public ... to get the access," said Puganesan Thiruselven, who was among hundreds of people who queued for jabs at the truck in Kuala Lumpur. "By doing this, the risk is much reduced."

Malaysia this month imposed its tightest restrictions yet to arrest the spread of COVID-19, with bans on inter-state travel and all but essential economic activities.

It has recorded 627,652 coronavirus cases and 3,536 deaths overall.

About 2.5 million people had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia as of Monday, less than 10% of its 32 million population although higher in percentage terms than some of its neighbours.

Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Mike Collett-White

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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