KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysia is expected to receive the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Feb 26, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Once it arrives, the vaccine will be distributed in stages to the states within a week or two.
The Health director-general was speaking to reporters after participating in the Covid-19 Emergency Management Technical Committee meeting at the Mentri Besar’s Office at Wisma Darul Iman here yesterday.
Also present was Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.
Malaysia was previously reported to have purchased 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and subsequently committed to purchase an additional 12.2 million doses.
Dr Noor Hisham said to date,
a total of 141 volunteers had received injections in the Phase 3 clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine developed and sponsored by China’s Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
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 hoped that the late reporting of cases to the National Crisis Preparedness and Emergency Response Centre (CPRC) of the Health Ministry, including from private facilities, would be resolved within a week.
He said registered private facilities such as private clinics and hospitals could report positive cases as soon as possible or before noon every day to CPRC in their respective states.
“When private laboratories get the results, they have to include those 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 explained.
On Sunday, Dr Noor Hisham said 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. — Bernama