AstraZeneca jabs to go on here despite Indonesia suspending its use, says Khairy

PETALING JAYA: There are no plans to halt the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Malaysia following Indonesia’s decision to suspend its use following the death of a 22-year-old man a day after immunisation.

“We are studying the information from Indonesia," said Khairy Jamaluddin, coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force held its meeting this morning (May 17) and to date, there have not been any serious side effects since using the AstraZeneca vaccine in Malaysia.

“As such, we will go ahead with the use of the vaccine, ” he told a virtual joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on Monday (May 17).

Khairy said the government is aware of the public’s concerns raised over the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine but assured that it has been administered to almost half a million Malaysians without reports of serious side effects.

He was asked to comment on Indonesia’s decision to suspend the use of AstraZeneca as a precautionary measure after a 22-year-old man died a day after receiving the vaccine earlier this month.

Authorities there have launched an investigation and would resume using the vaccine if it is proven that it is safe to administer.

Khairy said vaccinations in Malaysia would be ramped up within the next two months once regular deliveries of an expected 2.5 million doses of Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines begin by July.

“The supply of vaccines will increase by this month and in June and July to two million doses of Pfizer and 500,000 doses of Sinovac a week, ” he said.

He also noted that almost half a million or 475,984 senior citizens have at least received one dose of the vaccine under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and opt-in.

Earlier, Khairy said the second round of opt-in for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination will open for registration on May 23, with priority given to senior citizens in Johor, Penang and Sarawak.

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