Private hospitals likely to procure own vaccine after October

Meanwhile, private hospitals are working with the NCIP to vaccinate the public using all types of vaccines purchased by govt


THE Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) believes it will be able to procure its own vaccines after October, especially vaccines that are pending the National Pharmaceutical Registration Agency approval.

“Based on the scarcity of the vaccines and the processes involved in registration, there is a bleak chance of having private Covid-19 vaccines early as they (private hospitals) are only slated to have them not before September or October,” APHM president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said.

“It would be rather futile to wait for these privately procured vaccines if the aim is to enhance herd immunity, unless there are some changes made to the approval system,” he said in a statement.

On June 3, National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar announced that state governments and private hospitals can purchase Covid-19 vaccines other than those used in NCIP.

“These include those from China’s Sinopharm and Moderna Inc in the US, but (Khairy) stressed that the vaccines must be among those approved by the World Health Organisation.

“If a state wants to purchase its own vaccines and bring these other vaccines in, they can go ahead; we can even facilitate them,” he said.

APHM said although the announcement is much welcomed, the availability of vaccines remains limited.

Based on the current numbers of infected persons and the infectivity rate, the importance of urgent vaccination for all age categories is essential to achieve early herd immunity, said Dr Kuljit.

He said private hospitals are now working with the NCIP to vaccinate the public using all types of vaccines purchased by the government.

“More than 100 private hospitals will be participating together with all the government vaccine centres following the list of vaccines from the MySejahtera app.

“In the future, should there be a yearly vaccination programme providing booster doses for Covid-19, the private hospitals will then be ready with various types of vaccines for private consumption,” he said.

APHM now encourages the public to register with the NCIP using the MySejahtera application to get the vaccination.

The government will have various plans to help vaccinate different groups of citizens and residents, and private hospitals will participate accordingly.

Khairy said in a press briefing on Monday that vaccine distribution by the private healthcare groups is expected to match the daily target capacity of the government’s Covid19 vaccination distribution centres (PPVs) by next month, handling about 145,000 jabs a day.

He said currently, the private healthcare groups that have registered with ProtectHealth Corp Sdn Bhd are administering about 10.2% of the total vaccine supply, or 66,000 doses a day.

“As of June 11, 430,219 doses out of the 4.23 million doses had been administered by the private medical practitioners registered under ProtectHealth Corp, which is equivalent to 10.2%.

“The private medical practitioners will contribute 66,000 doses a day this week and the amount will increase to 78,000 a day from June 23,” Khairy noted.