PICKids: Eight AEFI reports of mild symptoms received so far – MOH

by BERNAMA

KOTA BHARU – Only eight adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) reports have been received since the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) began on Feb 3, with all cases experiencing mild side effects including swelling at the injection site after receiving the vaccine.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the number represented only 0.006 per cent of the total 246,868 children aged five to 11 who had been given the COVID-19 vaccine shot as of yesterday.

“When an AEFI is reported to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency  (NPRA), we will make a note. In fact, we have already informed should there be any side effects related to the COVID-19 vaccine, recipients can make a report,” he told reporters after visiting the special vaccination centre (SPPV) at the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital (HRPZ II) here today.

Also present was Kelantan Health Department director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin.

Dr Noor Azmi who is also COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force for Children (CITF-C) chairman said the vaccination rate through PICKids nationwide so far, was still low at about seven per cent.

Melaka recorded the highest percentage of vaccinations with 16.1 per cent followed by Sarawak at 13.99 per cent while Kelantan was among the lowest at 1.18 per cent.

According to Dr Noor Azmi some 3.6 million children, including 2.7 million schoolchildren have been targeted to receive the vaccine.

He said up to last year, 278,000 children and teenagers below 17 were infected with COVID-19 and of the total, 63 were reported to have died.

Meanwhile, in PUTRAJAYA, NPRA director Dr Roshayati Mohamad Sani said  93 per cent of AEFIs for COVID-19 reported were not serious.

She said the NPRA reporting system had received a total of 24,990 AEFI reports including 1,104 reports relating to COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and eight reports involving vaccine recipients aged five to 12.

“Of the total, 1,747 reports were categorised as serious AEFI  which was equivalent to a rate of 27 per one million doses administered,” she said in a statement today on the AEFI status as of Feb 11, 2022.

Dr Roshayati said fever, pain at the injection site, headache, muscle aches and fatigue were among the most common adverse effects reported by vaccine recipients and the effects would usually improve within a day or two.

She said vaccine recipients who experienced any serious adverse or prolonged effects, should immediately refer to any health facility for treatment and to enable further investigations to be conducted.

“Serious adverse effects are those that require hospitalisation, longer stay in the ward, life-threatening, or suspected to cause death,” she said.

In the meantime, Dr Roshayati said NPRA was also monitoring identified safety risks of COVID-19 vaccine or adverse event of special interest (AESI) among vaccine recipients in Malaysia following global concern on COVID-19 vaccine safety.

The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) from Feb 24, 2021 until last Feb 11, saw the administration of 64,697,715 COVID-19 vaccine doses involving the brands Comirnaty (Pfizer), CoronaVac (Sinovac), AstraZeneca (AZ), Convidecia (CanSino) and COVILO (Sinopharm).

The National COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Programme (PICK-B) kicked off on Oct 13, 2021, and a total of 13,000,984 booster doses have been dispensed as of Feb 11.

A total of 79,393 vaccine doses have been administered on children aged 5 to below 12 years under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children  (PICKids) as of Feb 11.