The Malaysian Government will not include the AstraZeneca vaccines in the mainstream national COVID-19 vaccination programme due to public concerns over the vaccine, said Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin on Wednesday (28 Apr).
Speaking at a press conference with Health Minister Adham Baba in Putrajaya today, Mr Khairy noted that the AstraZeneca vaccines will only be used on a voluntary basis in Malaysia, after taking into consideration of the public’s fear over the vaccine.
Many have raised concerns about the use of AstraZeneca vaccines, following reports of blood clotting that emerged among the vaccine recipients.
Hong Kong had also requested AstraZeneca on 9 Apr to suspend delivery of its vaccine amid fears of severe side effects.
“We have agreed that a proactive measure is to be taken, where the AstraZeneca vaccine can still be used, and at the same time address the concerns that some people have (over its use), although their fear is not based on science.
“So, today, we would like to announce that the AstraZeneca vaccine will not be administered via the normal vaccine dispensing centres (PPV). It would not be used in the mainstream immunisation programme.
“Special PPVs will be opened to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine, open for members of the public who want to take the vaccine voluntarily after looking at all the facts,” he said, as quoted by Malaysiakini.
Mr Khairy noted that the 268,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines would be distributed at special PPVs on a voluntary “first come, first served” basis, adding that the special PPVs would be opened in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor for now.