Monday, November 29, 2021

WHO should ask countries to recognise all approved vaccines, says Khairy

Otherwise, the issue of vaccine discrimination will arise as each country recognises only certain brands, he says.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) should ask all countries to recognise every type of Covid-19 vaccine listed by the United Nations agency, National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

He said the guidance from WHO should serve as a reference for all countries as every brand of vaccine recommended by the world body was meant for emergency use to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the issue of discrimination against certain types of vaccines in use would not arise if the whole world abided by WHO’s recommendations.

Currently, he said, the European Union only accepts the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines while China has approved only vaccines manufactured by the country, namely Sinovac and Sinopharm.

“The question is whether countries around the world will agree to accept all vaccines that have received emergency use by WHO.

“WHO must really step up right now and ask the world and countries to recognise vaccines that are listed in WHO. Otherwise, we will have countries that discriminate based on vaccines given, and that is not a way to get out from this pandemic together,” he told reporters after inspecting the operations of the vaccination centre (PPV) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

On the national stadium PPV, Khairy said it was expected to hit its maximum capacity of administering 10,000 shots a day in less than two weeks.

The centre administered 3,000 jabs today, with the number expected to increase to 5,000 doses daily within three days, he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy said refugees would be given the CanSino vaccine as it involves a single-dose regime.

“For the refugee community, it is easier for us to administer the single-dose vaccination because of the nature of their presence, (involving) matter of access. We have negotiated for CanSino and will receive it at the end of July,” he added.

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