KOTA TINGGI, April 24 — Malaysia has received its first batch of 268,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

He said the vaccine, purchased through the COVAX facility, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 8.20 pm yesterday.

He said Malaysia had signed an agreement in December last year to procure AstraZeneca vaccine to cover three per cent of the country’s population.

“The COVAX facility sent the vaccine from South Korea, and we will keep it at the designated storage centre,” he told reporters after the presentation of allocations for the Tenggara parliamentary constituency in Taman Daiman here today.

Asked on concerns on the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Supply (JKJAV) decided to procure the vaccine only after it was approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.

Dr Adham said an analysis of the data from the manufacturer and World Health Organisation (WHO) found that use of the vaccine would give more benefits than risks.

“Our view is that the AstraZeneca vaccine is beneficial for use by certain groups … (we) need to have more brands of vaccine as some people may be compatible with this vaccine,” he added.

He said an announcement would be made on Monday on the first group of recipients for the AstraZeneca vaccine.


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