by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by AUFA MARDHIAH
THE Health Ministry (MoH) is procuring for the government to buy updated vaccines that can fight the newer variants of Covid-19 for high-risk groups.
Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (centre) said: “We found that there are fewer risks for relatively healthy young people getting Covid-19 after vaccination. Hence, we will focus on high-risk groups, including the procurement of vaccines for children under five-year-old.
“We also take into account information and clinical data obtained from other countries that have already started giving vaccines to under five-year-olds,” he said during the Malaysia Book of Records awards ceremony and the launch of the “Record Breaking Covid-19 Vaccination: Public-Private Partnership” report today.
On the sum of vaccine to be acquired, he said the health department as well as paediatric services will do a projection on the number of likely elderly and children with serious comorbidity.
“We are collecting the data before making the order. The vaccines will be for free, because the number will likely not be so big,” Khairy added.
On the projection of when the new vaccine will take off, he said MoH has started negotiations.
“We have an existing order with Pfizer Inc and Covax (Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access) which we have not fully utilised. We bought more than we needed, so we are trying to change the order from the old formula to the new.
“We have in our stockpile in excess of about four billion doses with some expiring towards year-end and some to be carried forward until next year,” he further added.