PUTRAJAYA: About 75% of the 1.9 million doses of vaccines that are available in the country have been administered, said Khairy Jamaluddin.
The coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said the high utilisation rate showed that the government is doing all it can to quickly administer the vaccine to as many people as possible.
However, he said the government’s desire is hampered by the issue of supply.
“To date, we have received 1,938,660 doses of vaccines from Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca.
“And we have already injected 1,453,382 doses. This is a utilisation rate of 75%.
“I understand that everyone wants to be vaccinated early.
“It is not a question of the government not wanting to administer jabs quickly. The issue here is with the supply.
“So as soon as we get a supply of vaccines, we want to immediately jab it into people’s arms. The question of withholding the vaccine jabs does not arise, ” Khairy said at his weekly joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on Monday (May 3).
Khairy said the government is hoping to ramp up the utilisation rate of the Covid-19 vaccines to 80% after the Hari Raya celebrations.
“Currently, there are constraints in terms of manpower and also due to the recent increase in Covid-19 infections.
“For example, in the AstraZeneca voluntary programme, we are getting private clinics to manage the PPVs (Covid-19 vaccination centres) under the programme.
“So not just healthcare workers from the Health Ministry, but GPs (general practitioners) from the private sector are also involved to boost our workforce, ” said Khairy.
The vaccine supply situation in the country is expected to be boosted with the arrival of 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Covax facility this month.
A further 610,000 doses are expected to arrive in June, followed by about 410,000 in July, coming directly from AstraZeneca.
In August and September, another batch of 1.2 million AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive.