Malaysia has received the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine with a total dose of 268,800 that has been purchased via the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) said Malaysia had signed an agreement in December last year to procure the AstraZeneca vaccine to cover three percent of country’s population.
According to Bernama, Health Minister, Dr. Adham Baba highlighted that the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Supply (JKJAV) decided to procure the vaccine only after it was approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“An analysis of the data from the manufacturer and World Health Organisation (WHO) found that the use of the vaccine would give more benefits than risk.
“Our view is that the AstraZeneca vaccine is beneficial for use by certain groups as we need to have more brands of vaccine as some people may be compatible with this vaccine,” he said.
On April 8, the Coordinating Minister for the Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin said the country has taken note of the European Medicine Agency (EMA) announcement regarding the vaccine and arising issues.
The EMA has found rare cases of blood clots among some adult vaccine recipients, although it said the vaccine’s advantages still outweighed the risks.
Malaysia has secured a total of 12.8 million doses from AstraZeneca, half of which will come via the COVAX facility.
Additionally, Malaysia has vaccinated 1,290,414 individuals [including dose one and dose two] with Selangor being the highest vaccinated state in the country based on JKJAV’s statistics.