Only take vaccines provided by the govt, says DG

PUTRAJAYA: The public should only trust the Covid-19 vaccines that are distributed by the Health Ministry and not those from outside sources, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

He said under the arrangements by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), Covid-19 vaccines in the country shall only be provided by the government.

“The NPRA hands out the conditional registration for Covid-19 vaccines to be distributed in the country, and one of the conditions is that they are provided by the government.

“Covid-19 vaccines provided by the government under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme are free.

“Some of the vaccines may be administered at other places such as private hospitals, but these are identified by the government, ” he said at the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was aware of online advertisements offering Covid-19 vaccines by Pfizer and investigation by the pharmaceutical enforcement division found the advertisements to be fake.

“We are investigating these with Interpol. There is an emergence of fake Covid-19 vaccines found on the market, so our advice to the public is to ensure that the vaccines they take are only those provided by the Health Ministry or other reliable sources, ” he said.

On Covid-19 updates, Dr Noor Hisham said nine people in nursing homes have died from the virus so far.

He said the ministry had also detected 21 clusters that were linked to senior residences with 15 still active.

“A total of 610 individuals have been infected from clusters linked to old folks homes.

“About 583 or 95.6% are Malaysians, while the rest are foreigners, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the fatality rate at old folks homes was 1.48% which was higher than the national rate of 0.38%.

“One of the ministry’s Covid-19 prevention measures is to ensure that the vulnerable group is protected. At these homes, we must ensure that compliance to Covid-19 standard operating procedures are strictly adhered to.

“Put off physical gatherings and activities, and make sure there is no face-to-face engagement with visitors.

“Compliance with these SOP is very important for us to break the chain of Covid-19 infection in our country, ” he said.

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 2,063 more cases of Covid-19, taking the country’s total infections to 307,943. Nine are imported infections while the rest are local transmissions. There were five more deaths, bringing the country’s death toll up to 1,153.

Another 2,922 patients have been discharged, which means 283,629 people in the country have recovered from the coronavirus to date.

The number of active cases have now gone down to 23,161 from 24,025 the previous day. Of the total, 193 are currently under intensive care treatment, with 99 requiring ventilator support.

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