Malaysia will receive 2.7 million doses of the new generation (bivalent) Covid-19 vaccines as a replacement for the almost-expired stock being kept by the health ministry.
Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said while Malaysia would be able to replace the vaccines, according to the data, only 2.5% of the population had taken a second booster shot.
Therefore, the health ministry might need to destroy the expired vaccines, he added.
He said this when winding up the debate on the white paper on Covid-19 vaccine procurement before it was approved by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa previously said that the health ministry was still negotiating with Pfizer Sdn Bhd regarding the Covid-19 bivalent vaccine.
Lukanisman said the additional purchase and receipt of vaccine donations from foreign countries had contributed to the surplus of vaccine stocks, and that this was not according to the plan under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
He said as of June 1, there were 8.5 million vaccines of various brands that had expired at health ministry facilities and vaccine storage warehouses.
"The disposal process and reporting on vaccine stocks are being carried out in accordance with the asset management procedures and store management procedures in force.
"The monitoring of vaccine disposal is also carried out periodically," he said.
He said a total of 27,550,124 individuals or 84.4% of the population had received a complete primary dose, 16,335,715 individuals or 50% had received a booster dose, while 823,495 individuals or 2.5% had received a second booster dose as of May 30.
From December 2020 to April 30 2023, he said the government spent RM5.885 billion, of which RM5.348 billion was through the ministry while another RM537.5 million was through the science, technology and innovation ministry for the implementation of PICK and PICKids.
This was through the utilisation of the Covid-19 Fund and the National Trust Fund.
He said the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division had received 26,717 reports of adverse events following immunisation from February 2021 until April 30, of which only 1,868 reports (7%) involved serious adverse effects.
On the special financial assistance for Covid vaccine side effects, he said 319 applications were received and 150 of them had been approved involving a total payment of RM2.5 million as of May 31.