Sunday, October 24, 2021

Khairy upbeat about vaccine drive as millions more doses to come

He also says the AstraZeneca jab will be reinstated in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme following the overwhelming public response so far.

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Khairy Jamaluddin has again expressed confidence in the rate of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, saying millions of doses will arrive in the next two months, apologising however for the difficulties experienced by the public in booking a slot due to the overwhelming response.

The science, technology and innovation minister said Malaysia would take delivery of more supplies from at least three companies, subject to approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

He said another two million doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be sent in July, while a total of 12 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine would arrive in June and July.

Meanwhile, another one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive in June and July.

Khairy also said the AstraZeneca jab would be reinstated in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) following the overwhelming response from the public last weekend.

“After seeing the encouraging response, we see the level of reluctance towards the AstraZeneca vaccine has eroded and there is no doubt AstraZeneca is now better accepted by our society.

“We have decided for the upcoming months we will no longer implement AstraZeneca for opt-in registration, and it will be included in the mainstream immunisation list,” he said.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently offered outside of PICK following fears over negative reports surrounding the jab.

He also spoke of the possibility that the public would be able to pick their vaccine of choice through the MySejahtera application.

“I am looking into a facility where people will be able to make a choice on the vaccine they will receive through MySejahtera, which we will upgrade soon.

“It will be done in MySejahtera. I think we’ve learnt a lot on the website and I think it’s cleaner to do everything on MySejahtera and it encourages people to use the application,” he added.

On claims that the website operation costs RM70 million, he said the budget allocated was not for the PICK website alone.

He said the RM70 million ceiling allocation was for the management and monitoring of PICK achievements, its daily dashboard, integration of MySejahtera and the development of the vaccine registration portal.

It also involves the development of the Qmobile management system procurement, the digital passport in MySejahtera and call centre operations.

“I know for certain we have not spent RM70 million,” he added.

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