Covid-19: Khairy opts out of Pfizer vaccine, says will take whatever NPRA approves next to boost confidence

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. - Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin will be the first to receive the jab for the next Covid-19 vaccine that will be approved by the country in a bid to combat "selective vaccine hesitancy".

He said he came to the decision to encourage people to receive whichever Covid-19 vaccine that is offered to them and to combat the mindset where individuals are hesitant towards certain vaccines.

“There are those who prefer the Pfizer vaccine, and those who really want the Sinovac vaccine.

“Some medical practitioners have said that the Sinovac vaccine uses the traditional inactivated virus platform. That’s how the old vaccines used to work and that’s tried and tested.

“Some have said the mRNA technology is good because the efficacy rate is high.

“These are views we have to listen to but the government’s position is to take whatever vaccine that the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has approved.

“That’s why I have offered myself to take whatever vaccine the NPRA approves next, as a demonstration of vaccine confidence and my confidence in the NPRA, ” he said during a press conference at KL International Airport after the CoronaVac vaccines arrived Saturday (Feb 27).

He added that to allow people a choice of the vaccine they want will also complicate the country’s logistics system.

Khairy confirmed that he would not be taking the Pfizer vaccine as he wants to set an example to encourage vaccination of whatever vaccines that will be approved next.

“I have been looking into the views of Malaysians. The Prime Minister, the Health director-general, some ministers and frontliners have started to receive the vaccine, and as such Malaysians have confidence in the Pfizer vaccine.

“So the rakyat are wondering if the leaders are taking the Pfizer vaccine, which is the ‘good stuff’, and the remaining vaccines are for the ‘normal people’.

“Whatever vaccine that crosses the line next, I will take that. And I don’t know which one that will be.

“If it’s Sinovac, it will be Sinovac. If it’s the Russian vaccine, it will be the Russian vaccine. If it’s the AstraZeneca one, it will be that," he said.

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