REMBAU (Bernama): Malaysia has returned 585 damaged vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to the manufacturer, said Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister said the damage was caused when the vials were not stored at the proper temperature during the delivery process from the manufacturing factory in Belgium to Malaysia.
"We found that on the way from Belgium to Malaysia, the storage temperature increased from -70°C to a temperature not accepted by the Health Ministry, ” he told reporters after visiting the vaccine administration centre at the Rembau Health Clinic here Wednesday (March 10).
He said the number of damaged vials was small, adding that Pfizer would replace the vials that were sent back to them.
Meanwhile, Khairy said individuals who have turned 17 this year could register for the COVID-19 vaccination through the MySejahtera app to receive the vaccine next year.
Asked if the target set to have all 500,000 frontline workers vaccinated could be achieved this month, Khairy said at least each frontline worker would receive the first dose during the first phase of the immunisation programme if all Pfizer BioNTech vaccines arrive according to the original schedule.
He added that if there were delays from Pfizer, those who were scheduled to receive the vaccine during the first phase would receive their shots in April.
Responding to a statement that said the government would face a challenge administering the vaccine to 150,000 recipients a day, he said the number was set for the third phase after a mega-immunisation centre is set up, adding that the focus now is to inoculate the frontliners.
Meanwhile, the Rembau MP said his ministry would join forces with non-governmental organisations and local authorities to identify the best approach to ensure the homeless would receive the Covid-19 vaccine as they are part of the 80% of recipients among members of the public. - Bernama