Malaysia to proceed with AstraZeneca vaccine, says Health Minister

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will proceed with the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, confirms the Health Ministry.

Health minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) said this was decided at the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) meeting on Tuesday (April 6).

“The JKJAV had a meeting from 11am to 2pm Tuesday and among the things we discussed was the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We (Malaysia) will proceed to use AstraZeneca. This is because clinical data has shown that there are more benefits than negatives with this vaccine,” said Dr Adham to reporters after a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between the Health Ministry and the Transport Minister here.

Dr Adham said experts at the meeting earlier discussed several issues relating to AstraZeneca, particularly the discovery of blood clot cases among recipients of the vaccine.

The minister said although Malaysia has made agreement to procure the AstraZeneca vaccine, the country has not yet received them.

“We have not received the vaccines, but we have agreed to procure them from Thailand and also from the Covax facility based in South Korea,” said Dr Adham.

Covax, or Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, is a global initiative aimed at providing equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Malaysia was scheduled to receive deliveries of about 6.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in May, for the use of 3.2 million people.

Several countries in Europe had suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, after a small number of reports of blood clots among its recipients.