'It's not just about expired vaccines and defective ventilators', groups question govt waste

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Alliance for Effective Covid Control (MAECC) and Malaysian Council for Health (MCH) have questioned the government on the need to push for Covid-19 vaccine booster injections.

Their response comes after the release of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report yesterday on expired Covid-19 vaccines gone to waste that had cost the government RM505 million.

"Not only is the Covid-19 (virus) endemic, the oft-repeated foul-up procurement procedure by our government departments despite the yearly Auditor-General's caution appears to be endemic too.

"This is affirmed by parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report released on Oct 30, 2023, involving expired Covid vaccines and ventilator machines. Nobody is made responsible and it is a pity the PAC sees and hears no evil," the MAECC and MCH said in a joint statement today.

"As reported by the PAC, the loss of 8.5 million doses of Covid vaccines worth RM505 million due to expiry date and the 104 ventilator machines that failed to function is a crying shame. At a time when Malaysia is struggling to get out of the middle income trap, to pay the RM1.5 trillion debt, and faced with an inevitable global stagflation, every one of us whether in the public and private sector must be productive and make the best contribution to our country," it continued.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the government had incurred a loss of RM505 million due to 8.5 million doses of Covid vaccines that had expired in June this year, as well as 104 defective ventilator machines that were procured by the government through Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd (PLSB).

The MAECC and MCH said that the PAC must look beyond counting the number of unusable vials and machines.

They underscored on what basis the decision was made on an experimental vaccine that "did not do what was claimed and yet did more harm."

The groups added that a number of countries have reported excess deaths for the year 2022 in spite of the less virulent Omicron strain.

"Numerous countries in the world are now reporting excess deaths for the year 2022 in spite of the less virulent Omicron strain and when most had been fully vaccinated including boosters.

"Data from the Statistics Department of Malaysia (DoSM) shows the same, with excess deaths about 28 per cent compared to the baseline period of the previous five years from 2016 to 2020 when the average increase was 3 per cent," the statement read.

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