Monday, September 20, 2021

Health ministry dismisses kickbacks claim in vaccine procurement

It says a police report will be lodged on the matter.

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The health ministry today described as baseless allegations that the procurement of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and its registration were not made because there were “not enough kickbacks”.

Referring to allegations of corruption in the procurement process of Covid-19 vaccine, raised by a private medical practitioner, Dr Musa Nordin, the ministry in a statement said that discussions on the procurement of the Moderna vaccine were held with its manufacturer ModernaTX Inc at the end of 2020.

However, due to the offer to ship doses only in the third quarter of 2021, the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) decided that procurement should be made with other manufacturers who could supply vaccines earlier, to speed up the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, the ministry said.

It added that ModernaTX only submitted registration to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency in July this year through its appointed company.

On Tuesday, Musa claimed that JKJAV had not procured the Moderna vaccine, and that NPRA had not registered it, because they were not given enough kickbacks.

The health ministry said it took a serious view of the allegations and would lodge a police report on the matter.

It also said that the government would decide on the need for the Moderna vaccine once the vaccine was approved for registration by the NPRA, including for use as a booster shot or through heterology.

“The government already has a portfolio and a sufficient number of doses to vaccinate the population of Malaysia,” it said.

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