Dr M: Speedier approval of vaccines needed to increase inoculation numbers

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. -AP filepic

PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 vaccines which have been successfully used in other countries should be made available to the public here, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He noted there was concern about these vaccines although they have already been used by millions in other countries.

“If they (countries) have used them, do we need to test them again?

“If such is the case, then we also need to test Panadol to see if it can cure sickness.

“There is no need for tests,” he said during a live virtual interview with Sinar Harian on Tuesday (June 15).

The former prime minister cited the Russian-made Sputnik V as an example of a vaccine which has yet to get approval for use in Malaysia although it has been reviewed by medical journals and approved for use in Germany.

He said this was also the case where vaccines from China are concerned.

“We can see that they (China) did not have the problems like in India and Brazil and fatalities have been low there,” he said.

He also cited a lack of confidence in vaccines from China as a contributing factor to the delay in vaccinating people here.

“We cannot just wait for Pfizer and AstraZeneca,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said a simpler vaccine registration process would help increase the number of those getting their jabs, particularly those living in rural areas.

“In the United States, they are vaccinating three million people a day at vaccination drive-throughs.

“Over here, we have to register through the mobile phone for the vaccine,” he said.

He suggested the setting up of small teams of doctors and healthcare workers to hasten the vaccination process, particularly in rural areas.

Dr Mahathir commended the government’s effort to increase vaccinations but lamented that a lack of compliance with standard operating procedures by the public had resulted in the recent increase in Covid-19 cases.

Asked on calls by some for him to take a rest as he would be turning 96 on July 10, he said he was still physically able to contribute to the nation.

“As long as I can contribute to the nation, I will do so,” he said.

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