Malaysia will receive its first 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in June, says Khairy Jamaluddin, the minister in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
He said he received the delivery schedule from AstraZeneca Malaysia today, and that the vaccines would be coming from AstraZeneca’s contract manufacturing plant in Thailand.
“I have confirmation that the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines is from AstraZeneca as opposed to Covax; this is a direct procurement,” he told the media after launching the corporate collaboration for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in Putrajaya today.
Asked if India’s vaccine export ban would affect the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines through Covax to Malaysia, Khairy said it should not be the case as Malaysia’s AstraZeneca supply from the Covax facility was coming from the manufacturer SK Bioscience in South Korea and not from Serum Institute of India (SII).
“Unless there is something to do with the supply chain that we need to look into, as far as I know it shouldn’t affect us,” he said.
It was reported that India had put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine made by SII to meet domestic demand as infections rise.
It was said that the move would affect supplies to the World Health Organization-backed Covax vaccine-sharing facility, from which many countries are expected to get their respective doses.
On reports that some residents in Bangi were reluctant to register for Covid-19 vaccination because they were unable to choose the type of vaccine and had concerns about adverse effects, Khairy said the wait-and-see approach would be resolved after more people are vaccinated, to demonstrate that the vaccines are safe and effective.
“Those who are reluctant will be more willing to come forward to register and receive vaccines once it is clearly demonstrated,” he said.
He said more volunteers would be trained under the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force so that they have the data and information to explain the safety aspects of the vaccines to the public.
“Hence for now, I don’t think we should force or set a deadline, we should continue engagement and communication with the public,” he said.