KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will receive 2.7 million doses of the new generation (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines as a replacement for the almost expired stock that are being kept by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said though Malaysia was able to replace the vaccines, according to the data obtained, only 2.5 per cent of the population have taken the second booster shot.Therefore, MoH may 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 here today.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa had previously said that the Ministry of Health is 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 contributed to the surplus of vaccine stocks and 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 the MoH facilities and vaccine storage warehouses.
"The disposal process and reporting on vaccine stocks are carried out in accordance with the Asset Management Procedures and Store Management Procedures in force. Monitoring of vaccine disposal is also carried out periodically," he said.
He also informed that a total of 27,550,124 (84.4 per cent) of the population received the complete primary dose; 16,335,715 individuals (50 per cent) of the population have received a booster dose while 823,495 individuals or 2.5 percent of the population have received a second booster dose as of May 30.
Meanwhile, he said from Dec 2020 to April 30 2023, the government spent RM5.885 billion, of which, RM5.348 billion were through the MoH, while another RM537.5 million were through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation for the implementation of PICK including PICKids.
These were through the utilisation of the COVID-19 Fund (KWC) and the National Trust Fund (KWAN).
In addition, he said the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) had received 26,717 reports of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) from February 2021 until last April 30 and only 1,868 reports (seven per cent) 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 until May 31. -- BERNAMA