Health minister: AstraZeneca vaccine’s arrival to Malaysia still on track for June

Health minister: AstraZeneca vaccine’s arrival to Malaysia still on track for June
KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 7 — The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine’s arrival in Malaysia is still on track as scheduled at the moment, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said today.

The health minister said Malaysia’s shipment is obtained from Thailand and Covax facility in South Korea, indicating that the country will not experience similar delays as countries like Australia.

“We are receiving AstraZeneca shipments from factories in Thailand (for 10 per cent of the population) and three per cent from the Covax facility in South Korea, not factories in Europe,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

Dr Adham was responding to questions on the ground, where there were concerns of delay in shipments resulting in vaccines arriving past their “validity” data, and possibility resulting in losses spent to procure the vaccine doses.

His response is also related to the situation in Australia, where news reports have revealed that there is a delay in AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in the country due to export curbs by the European Union (EU), and is affecting their early nationwide inoculation drive.

However the EU yesterday reportedly denied blocking vaccine shipments to Australia.

Australia is currently 3.1 million short on AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which was originally scheduled to arrive by the end of last month.

According to Dr Adham, Malaysia is scheduled to receive its first shipment in June with stocks for July, August and September, and then the rest of them in the fourth quarter.

Yesterday, Dr Adham had confirmed that Malaysia will proceed with the use of the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca.

According to the health minister this decision was made during the vaccine committee meeting, based on clinical data which proved the benefits outweighed the harm.

On Sunday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin assured Malaysians that the government has prepared several backup plans in the event that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was found to be unsuitable for use in the country.

He also said that a group of experts has been following the development of the vaccine and took note of several cases of blood clots identified by the regulatory body in the United Kingdom.

According to Khairy, Malaysia is scheduled to receive deliveries of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine involving the procurement of 6.4 million doses for the use of 3.2 million people.