PUTRAJAYA: According to National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia will continue with the purchasing of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines because there is no proof that the vaccine triggers blood clots.
He said that AstraZeneca had told Malaysia about the vaccine’s side effects, and that no evidence has been found to link the vaccine to cases of blood clots in people, which have resulted in deaths in a few countries.
“As of now, we will stick by our stand. The purchase of the AstraZeneca vaccines remains,” he told a joint press conference with health minister Dr Adham Baba on the development of the immunisation programme today.
Following reports of blood clots occurring in some people after being vaccinated, several nations, including Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Thailand, have reportedly halted the roll-out of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Several batches of the vaccine have also been discontinued in Italy and Austria.
Khairy, the minister of science, technology, and innovation, confirmed that the ministry would review clinical evidence from foreign events in order for experts to draw conclusions regarding vaccine use.
The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA), according to Adham, performs extensive research on any vaccine that is to be used in Malaysia.
“We trust the NPRA’s decisions, and in the case of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we have looked into its quality and safety,” he said.
The conditional registration of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was approved by the Drug Control Authority on March 2.
In another matter, Khairy claimed that for the first phase of the immunisation program, Malaysia will receive additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in stages.
He said that 83,070 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were shipped today, with another 124,020 doses arriving on March 22 and another 125,190 doses arriving on March 26.
“Cumulatively, Malaysia will receive 1,000,350 doses of vaccine and this completes the delivery for the first quarter,” he said, adding that 100,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine were also delivered today.
When asked why Malaysia purchased large quantities of Covid-19 vaccines, Khairy clarified that the bulk procurement was made to assist with the mitigation process, which includes reducing the possibility of vaccine delivery delays to Malaysia.