Wednesday, October 20, 2021

AstraZeneca recipients must be shown syringe before and after jab, says health ministry

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba says this new directive has been included in the SOPs following claims by several people that they had received less than the required dose.

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Health workers administering the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 must now show recipients the syringe before and after giving the jabs in the wake of several claims of people having received less than the required dose.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said his ministry took a serious view of the claims which were said to have occurred at the World Trade Centre vaccination centre in Kuala Lumpur.

“The health ministry and ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd is investigating the issue,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the ministry had set additional directive in the SOPs for all health workers administering the AstraZeneca jab.

“They also need to show recipients the empty syringe after the dose has been given,” he said, adding that the new SOP is to ensure that the quality of AstraZeneca vaccination is at the optimum level.

He said the additional SOP would be expanded to all other vaccination centres and that monitoring activities would be stepped up in order to ensure that all measures are followed.

“The ministry will always strive to make sure that the AstraZeneca vaccination programme is carried out successfully and safely for the people,” he said.

The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force said earlier this week it was investigating claims that AstraZeneca vaccine doses administered were less than required, which is under 0.5ml.

It said in a statement that two incidents had supposedly occurred at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur AstraZeneca vaccination centre on May 19.

The AstraZeneca vaccine currently forms the backbone of the Covax scheme, which ensures that poorer countries can access doses, with donors covering the cost.

It was hailed as a game-changer in January when it was first rolled out due to its affordability and the fact that it does not require very cold temperatures for storage like the ones from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

However, it experienced a slew of bad publicity following cases of blood clots reported in countries including the UK and Europe among patients given the jab, some of whom died.

It is currently being administered on a voluntary basis to people in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, with the second phase involving those in Johor, Penang and Sarawak as well to roll out next month.

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