Malaysia is expected to receive the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Feb 26, says health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said once the shipments arrive, the vaccine will be distributed in stages to the states within a week or two.
Noor Hisham said this after participating in the Covid-19 Emergency Management Technical Committee meeting at the Menteri Besar’s Office at Wisma Darul Iman today.
Malaysia was previously reported to have purchased 12.8 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine with a subsequent commitment to purchase an additional 12.2 million doses of the same vaccine.
Noor Hisham said to date, 141 volunteers have received injections in Phase 3 clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine developed and sponsored by China’s Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
They were among the 3,000 volunteers aged 18 and above selected based on set criteria.
“We only want 3,000 volunteers but the number of applicants is more than that number, so we will make a selection,” he said.
He also voiced hope that the late reporting of cases to the National Crisis Preparedness and Emergency Response Centre (CPRC), including from private facilities, would be resolved within a week.
He said registered private facilities such as clinics and hospitals should report positive cases as soon as possible or before 12 noon every day to the CPRC in their respective states.
“What we see is that private laboratories, when they get the results, they have to include the results in the public health information system, so if there is a delay in entering the data then we will receive the data late,” he said.
Yesterday, Noor Hisham in a statement said that the sharp increase in number of daily cases, exceeding 5,000 for three consecutive days, was due to the late reporting of cases to the national CPRC, including cases detected in 2020.
The increase in cases is due to targeted workplace screening, close contact screening and high-risk group screening conducted on a large scale in several states.