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Procurement, use of Covid-19 vaccine to depend on five aspects — Health DG

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 27): Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysia’s procurement and use of the Covid-19 vaccine will depend on five aspects. 

He said they are safety registration, supply, distribution, monitoring of side effects and evaluation of the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Dr Noor Hisham said the registration of the Covid-19 vaccine was a key condition that must be met to ensure it was effective and safe.

The vaccine needs to be registered with the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) and the Health Ministry’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), he said. 

“If, for example, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer fails to register with FDA, then the whole deal will fall apart,” Dr Noor Hisham said referring to the agreement reached with the Pfizer for the supply of the vaccine.

Dr Noor Hisham said this when responding to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement of the Malaysian government’s agreement with Pfizer to obtain 12.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the immunisation needs of 20% or 6.4 million Malaysians.

On the 6.4 million Malaysians who will receive the vaccine, Dr Noor Hisham said the vaccine would be given to those aged 18 and above with priority for health workers, frontliners and high-risk groups such as the elderly and those with low immunity.

He said currently 12 vaccines have been tested at the third phase of clinical research but there was still no complete report on any one of them.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MoH) for now only received reports from the media and social media on the effectiveness of the vaccines.

“When the MoH studies a report, we (MoH) will set up a committee to look into the effectiveness, side effects and so on.

“This is important before the vaccine can be registered. If the vaccine cannot be registered, there may be safety issues and so on, and we (MoH) will not use the vaccine,” he said.

Meanwhile, on concerns that there was a possibility that gloves produced by glove manufacturer, Top Glove could be contaminated with the Covid-19 virus, Dr Noor Hisham said there have been no reports so far on the matter.

“So far there’s no report of infection from the gloves. (Production of gloves) go through a certain process. And there have been no other reports been documented in terms of infection,” he said.

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