Covid-19: Over RM4.7bil spent on vaccine purchase, says Health Ministry

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 Mar 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 88.1 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine worth an estimated RM4.72bil has been ordered by the government for the national immunisation programme, says the Health Ministry.

This includes 20.4 million doses of Sinovac, 44.8 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech for adults and adolescents as well as another 6.6 million doses for children.

The government also acquired 6.4 million doses of AstraZeneca from the World Health Organisation-backed Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility, 6.4 million doses of AstraZeneca from Oxford University and 3.5 million doses of CanSino.

This brought the number of vaccines purchased to a total of 88.1 million doses as of Feb 18, covering 143.13% of the population, or 46.03 million adults, adolescents and children.

“Given that the government is bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) with vaccine manufacturers, the details of each agreement cannot be disclosed,” said the Ministry.

It added in a Parliamentary written reply that this includes the price of the vaccine.

“However, the procurement cost for each type of vaccine has been explained in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) proceedings in Parliament held on Aug 2, 2021,” said the Ministry.

This was in response to a question by Lim Lip Eng (PH-Kepong) who asked the Health Minister to state the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses, needles and syringes as well as related supplies purchased by the government since 2020 and their costs.

Lim also asked about the total dose of vaccines disposed of and the reasons for their disposal.

The Ministry said that a total quantity of 89,089,900 units of “low dead- volume” (LDV) syringes and needle were procured for the administration of the vaccine at a cost of RM36.83mil.

“At the same time, the Ministry also received LDV syringe and needle contributions of 2.7 million units worth RM891,000,” it said.

On the number of vaccines disposed of, the Ministry said it is still compiling data and conducting verification on this and could only inform the public once the process is completed.

Among the causes of Covid-19 wastage and disposal included issues with temperature deviations which compromise the quality, safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine, it said.

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