PAC wants ceiling price for Sinovac vaccine

THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has proposed that the government set a ceiling price for the sale of the Sinovac vaccine by Pharmaniaga Bhd to private entities, as well as maximum charges by private healthcare facilities to vaccine recipients.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said the ceiling price was necessary to ensure the cost of vaccination was set at a reasonable rate in order to not burden the people.

“The PAC acknowledges that the government will be allowing the sale of Covid-19 vaccines starting August and it is very important for a ceiling price to be determined,” he said in a statement.

“The PAC also acknowledges that the price for Covid-19 vaccines has already started to be promoted and is set higher than what it should be.”

On vaccine procurement and distribution, Wong said that National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin appeared before the committee for a second time yesterday.

He said ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir and deputy Dr Mohd Noor Azman Hassan were also present.

The PAC will continue the proceedings today by calling Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

“Next week, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah will appear before the PAC to give their statements on the same proceedings,” said Wong.

Meanwhile, former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) took the Perikatan Nasional government to task, claiming that it had failed to steer the nation out of the third wave of infections.

He said the government also failed to leverage on technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in testing and contact-tracing in order to preemptively prevent outbreaks and predict future Covid-19 hotspots, he added.

“The Health Ministry only does targeted testing and contact-tracing after a cluster has already emerged. At times, a cluster is only declared a month and a half after the index case was detected,” Dzulkefly, who is also the Selangor Covid-19 Task Force chairman, told the House.

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