Saifuddin: NPRA red tape caused delay in vaccine procurement


Reports by TARRENCE TAN, RAHIMY RAHIM, MARTIN CARVALHO and CLARISSA CHUNG

THE initial delay in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) over the procurement of vaccines was caused by unnecessary red tape by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-Kulim Bandar Bharu).

He said Malaysia had missed out on a golden opportunity to procure vaccines internationally last year, and pointed out that countries such as Singapore and the United States had approved the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine as early as December.

“The NPRA previously said it required 90 to 120 days and it was approved in February this year. In December last year, Singapore became the first country in Asia to procure the vaccine.

“We were slow,” Saifuddin said in debating the briefing by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on the NIP.

Saifuddin said the delay in procuring vaccines had led to spikes in Covid-19 cases, adding that the government then adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude.

“When there is fierce competition and we don’t have strong bargaining power, other countries made procurement commitments and they are negotiating for the earliest possible delivery dates to save lives.

“But here, we said wait for the NPRA. That is the bottleneck,” the MP said.

Saifuddin acknowledged the importance of the whole-of-society approach taken by the Federal Government, where the views of stakeholders were taken into account in the country’s battle against Covid-19.

“Engagement with every stakeholder is vital in facing this pandemic,” he said.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Nation

Benefits of vaccination for adolescents outweigh risks, parents told
Sabah Pakatan calls for more transparency on MA63 progress
EMCO In Kampung Bambangan, Sabah from Monday (Sept 27)
Radzi: Schools in Phase Four states must be fully prepared for reopening
3G network to be shut down by end of the year, says Deputy Communications Minister
Sabah likely to return to travel zone system for districts with 60% vaccination rate, says Masidi
Johor to be part of technical committee to discuss border reopening with Singapore
Penang's Pulau Tikus market to close temporarily soon after detection of Covid-19 cases
Covid-19: 475 cases involving Delta and Beta variants detected nationwide from Sept 13 to 25
Cross-border travel possibly allowed in three weeks' time, says Hisham

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers