Additional flu vaccine brought in

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Extra consignments of the flu vaccine have been brought into the country to maintain sufficient supply, says the Health Minister.

Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said in 2019, about 600,000 doses were imported.

He said that following a spike in flu cases, an additional 92,700 doses of the vaccine were brought in on Dec 2.

“An extra 16,000 doses are expected to be available on Jan 20.

“The so-called shortage of vaccines has been overcome.

“The lack of availability was just a transient effect due to a sudden spike in demand,” he said after attending the ministry’s New Year gathering held here yesterday.

Dr Dzulkefly also said that to ensure sufficient supply of the oral antiviral drug Tamiflu, the ministry would allow private clinics to seek an alternative supply of the medicine besides sourcing it from the five companies on its registry.

“Private clinics applying to import the medicine will be given same-day approval so that the medicine can be given to patients who need it,” he said.

He said the ministry was looking at approving the purchase of one million flu tablets to treat 100,000 patients.

Dr Dzulkefly said the flu vaccination should be for those in the high-risk group such as those with diabetes and heart and kidney problems.

He said health experts advised that flu shots be given to those aged five years and below, and senior citizens aged 65 and above.

Earlier, Dr Dzulkefly told ministry staff that one of the priorities for 2020 was to protect the health and wellbeing of Malaysians.

In line with this, he said the national pneumococcal vaccination programme had kicked off, targeting those born from Jan 1.

He also said that a memorandum on healthcare reform, known as Sihat Bersama 2030, would be submitted to the government in February.

“It is important that we continue to seek ways to provide the best service and improve cooperation between the government and private sector to ensure the success of Sihat Bersama 2030,” he added.

A sustainable health financing system, public sector transformation through corporatisation and private sector regulatory reform are the three pillars outlined in Sihat Bersama 2030.

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