June 13, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia will receive 2.7 million doses of the new generation (bivalent) Covid-19 vaccines as a replacement for the almost expired stock that are being kept by the Health Ministry.
Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said though Malaysia was able to replace the vaccines, according to the data obtained, only 2.5% of the population have taken the second booster shot.
Therefore, the ministry may need to destroy the expired vaccines, he added.
He said this when winding-up the debate on the White Paper on Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement before it was approved by the Dewan Rakyat here today (June 12).
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa had previously said that the ministry is still negotiating with Pfizer Sdn Bhd regarding the Covid-19 bivalent vaccine.
Lukanisman said the additional purchase and receipt of vaccine donations from foreign countries contributed to the surplus of vaccine stocks and this was not according to the plan under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
He said as of June 1, there were 8.5 million vaccines of various brands that had expired at the ministry’s facilities and vaccine storage warehouses.
“The disposal process and reporting on vaccine stocks are carried out in accordance with the asset management procedures and store management procedures in force. Monitoring of vaccine disposal is also carried out periodically,” he said.
He also said a total of 27,550,124 (84.4%) of the population received the complete primary dose; 16,335,715 individuals (50%) had received a booster dose while 823,495 individuals or 2.5% received a second booster dose as of May 30.
Meanwhile, he said from Dec 2020 to April 30 2023, the government spent RM5.885bil, of which, RM5.348bil were through the Health Ministry, while another RM537.5mil were through the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry for the implementation of PICK including PICKids.
These were through the utilisation of the Covid-19 Fund and the National Trust Fund.
In addition, he said the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) had received 26,717 reports of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) from February 2021 until last April 30 and only 1,868 reports (7%) involved serious adverse effects.
On the Special Financial Assistance for Covid Vaccine Side-Effects, he said 319 applications were received and 150 of them had been approved involving a total payment of RM2.5mil until May 31. – Bernama