KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 1 — Malaysia is expected to receive the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Feb 26, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said that once arrived, the vaccine will be distributed in stages to the states within a week or two.
Dr Noor Hisham said this after participating in the COVID-19 Emergency Management Technical Committee meeting at the Menteri Besar Office at Wisma Darul Iman, here, today.
Also present was Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.
Malaysia was previously reported to have purchased 12.8 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and has subsequently committed to purchase an additional 12.2 million doses of the same vaccine.
In the meantime, he said that to date, a total of 141 volunteers have received injections in the Phase 3 clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine developed and sponsored by China’s Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS).
They were among the 3,000 volunteers, aged 18 and above, who were selected based on set criteria.
“We only want 3,000 volunteers but the number of applicants is more than that number, so we will make a selection,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham also hoped that the late reporting of cases to the National Crisis Preparedness and Emergency Response Centre (CPRC) of the Ministry of Health (MOH), including from private facilities, would be resolved within a week.
He also hoped that registered private facilities such as private clinics and hospitals can report positive cases as soon as possible or before 12 noon every day to the CPRC in their respective states.
“What we see is private laboratories, when they get the results they have to include the results in the public health information system, so if there is a delay in entering the data, then we will receive the data late,” he said.
Yesterday Dr Noor Hisham, in a statement, said that the sharp increase in the number of daily cases, exceeding 5,000 on three consecutive days, was due to the late reporting of cases to the National CPRC, including cases detected positive in 2020.
This sharp increase in cases is due to targeted workplace screening, close contact screening and high-risk group screening conducted on a large scale in several states.