KUALA TERENGGANU – Malaysia is expected to receive the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on February 26, said health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, reported Bernama.
He said that once arrived, the vaccine will be distributed in stages to the states within a week or two.
Noor Hisham said this after participating in the COVID-19 Emergency Management Technical Committee meeting at the Menteri Besar Office at Wisma Darul Iman here on February 1.
Also present was Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.
Malaysia was previously reported to have purchased 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and has subsequently committed to purchase an additional 12.2 million doses of the same vaccine.
In the meantime, he said that to date, a total of 141 volunteers had received injections in the Phase 3 clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed and sponsored by China’s Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS).
They were among the 3,000 volunteers, aged 18 and above, who were selected based on set criteria.
“We only want 3,000 volunteers but the number of applicants is more than that number, so we will make a selection,” he said.
Meanwhile, Noor Hisham also hoped that the late reporting of cases to the National Crisis Preparedness and Emergency Response Centre (CPRC) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), including from private facilities, would be resolved within a week.
He also hoped that registered private facilities such as private clinics and hospitals can report positive cases as soon as possible or before noon every day to the CPRC in their respective states.
“What we see is private laboratories, when they get the results, they have to include the results in the public health information system, so if there is a delay in entering the data, then we will receive the data late,” he said.
On January 31, Noor Hisham in a statement said that the recent sharp increase in the number of daily cases, exceeding 5,000 for three consecutive days, was due to late reporting of cases to the National CPRC, including cases detected positive in 2020.
This sharp increase in cases was due to targeted workplace screening, close contact screening and high-risk group screening conducted on a large scale in several states.
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