SEREMBAN: The Health Ministry has allayed concerns that there may be delays in the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme due to a shortage of vaccine supplies.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the programme was well on track and could even be completed earlier.
"We will receive 3.52mil doses of vaccines from three suppliers this month alone and the amount will increase in the coming months.
"We are confident that we can actually carry out the vaccination programme faster although the Science Technology and Innovation Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) said we have supply problems.
"I can confirm that the delivery is on schedule as the Health Ministry is doing the procurement," he said at a private medical centre at Seremban 2 here.
On Wednesday (May 4), Khairy said that the national immunisation programme could be delayed as vaccines were slow to arrive in Malaysia, claiming that pharmaceutical companies were prioritising richer countries instead.
Dr Adham said the second phase of the programme, which was supposed to begin in May, was brought forward to April 19 and will run until August.
"From June, we will have a surplus of supply and this will allow us to continue with the programme even faster," he said.
Some 9.4mil people comprising the elderly, the chronically ill and those with disabilities will receive their shots during the second phase of the programme.
Some 500,000 teachers from the public and private sectors have also been included in the second phase.
On another matter, Dr Adham said the ministry had not received any reports of adverse effects from Malaysians who had received AstraZeneca vaccines.