Monday, September 20, 2021

Private doctor claims ‘kickbacks’ in vaccine procurement

He also criticises 'flip-flop' policies on administering Covid-19 jabs to teenagers and the procurement of the Sinovac vaccine.

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A private hospital doctor has launched a scathing attack on Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, accusing the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) not only of flip-flopping, but also of corruption.

Dr Musa Nordin also asked why the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), the main drug approval authority under the health ministry, had yet to give the green light for the Moderna vaccine.

“If you want a short answer, I would say, I guess, not enough kickbacks,” Musa, a paediatrician at the KPJ Damansara Specialist Centre, told an online forum where he was a speaker alongside Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his former Cabinet colleague Rafidah Aziz.

Musa, who was among the candidates named by Mahathir for his version of a national recovery council, also heaped scorn on Health Minister Dr Adham Baba and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who jointly chair the JKJAV.

He said both ministers had been wrong in predicting the number of vaccine doses that could be delivered in the early stage of the immunisation programme in February.

While acknowledging Malaysia’s vaccination rate, currently among the highest in the world, Musa however said the country was facing the Delta variant.

He criticised what he called the “flip-flop” policies of the vaccines committee on administering jabs to teenagers, as well as on the procurement of the Sinovac vaccine.

Claiming the Sinovac vaccine was ineffective in fighting the Delta variant, he said recipients of the Chinese vaccine should be given a booster jab without delay.

“The problem with JKJAV is their wait-and-see attitude,” he said.

Last year Musa, who is a strong supporter of Pakatan Harapan leaders and active in Islamist bodies linked to opposition MPs, accused health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah of failing to protect frontliners battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

His comments drew strong reactions from the public as well as from veteran doctors.

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