PUTRAJAYA, March 31 — Malaysia will receive its first 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in June, said Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said that he had received the delivery schedule from AstraZeneca Malaysia today, where the vaccines would be coming from AstraZeneca’s contract manufacturing plant in Thailand.
“I have the confirmation that the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines from AstraZeneca as opposed to Covax; this is a direct procurement,” he told the media after launching the corporate collaboration for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, here today.
Asked if India’s vaccine export ban will affect the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines through Covax to Malaysia, Khairy said it should not be the case because Malaysia’s AstraZeneca supply from the Covax facility was coming from the manufacturer SK Bioscience in South Korea and not from Serum Institute of India (SII).
“Unless there is something to do with the supply chain that we need to look into, as far as I know it shouldn’t affect us,” he said.
It was reported that India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine made by the SII to meet their domestic demand as infections rise.
The move, as it was reported, would also affect supplies to the WHO-backed Covax vaccine-sharing facility, where many countries are expected to get their respective doses.
On reports that some residents in Bangi were reluctant to register for Covid-19 vaccination because they were unable to choose the type of vaccines and had concerns about adverse effects, Khairy said that the wait-and-see approach would resolve after more people were vaccinated, to demonstrate that vaccines were safe and effective.
“Those who are reluctant will be more willing to come forward to register and receive vaccines once it is clearly demonstrated,” he said.
He said that more volunteers would be trained under the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) so that they have the data and information to explain the safety aspects of the vaccines to the public.
“Hence for now, I don’t think we should force or set a deadline, we should continue engagement and communication with the public,” he said.