BINTULU, Jan 30 — The test on the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the Belaga Health Clinic here yesterday went smoothly without any problems, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.
He said the success in maintaining the ultra cold temperature during the delivery process proved that the vaccine could be delivered anywhere in the country.
The input data logger which monitors the delivery process from Belgium showed satisfactory results, he added.
“From the data logger, provided by the company, we found no issues or weaknesses and we hope that during the actual vaccine delivery, the situation will be the same,” he told a press conference after the test on the vaccine delivery to Bintulu Hospital today.
Stored in a ‘thermal shipper’ container, the bottles containing the saline solution were transported from Belgium to Singapore and then to Malaysia before being taken to Kuching by plane and then by road to the Belaga Health Clinic in Bintulu.
During the test run, the temperature in the thermal shipper could be maintained between -90 to – 60 degrees Celsius and this ensured that the Pfizer vaccine is in perfect condition when it reaches its destination.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Public Health Pharmacy Sector chief Datin Shantini Thevendran said for the actual delivery, Pfizer would appoint its own delivery agents for the vaccine facilities in the country.
A training on the handling of the vaccine will be organised for health personnel and the Malaysian Armed Forces from Feb 2 to 5.
Malaysia is expected to receive the 12.8 million doses of the vaccine in stages starting in mid-February and the vaccination process will be carried out according to priority beginning with frontline workers followed by the high-risk groups and those aged 18 and above.
The vaccine training programme is being organised jointly by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and Pfizer (M) Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba said the vaccine training programme was part of a thorough preparation before the actual COVID-19 vaccine was received by the MOH.
This includes assessing the feasibility of the processes involved in handling the COVID-19 vaccine in the field so that the actual distribution throughout Malaysia will run smoothly, he said.
“The smooth running of the two training programmes at the Belaga Health Clinic, yesterday and Bintulu Hospital, today is very important in ensuring that the National COVID-19 Immunisation Plan is working well,” he said in a statement.