Covid-19: Negotiations on bivalent vaccines with Pfizer ongoing, says Dr Zaliha

Dr. Zaliha Mustafa (center)

KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic) said the Health Ministry is still in a process of negotiating with Pfizer Sdn Bhd in regards to the Covid-19 bivalent vaccines.

"I’ll be meeting them, maybe in a few week's time, then we’ll settle on that matter and hopefully we can get the bivalent vaccines as soon as possible,” she said after launching the Elekta Versa HD Linear Accelerator (Linac) system in conjunction with World Cancer Day 2023 at KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, on Friday (Feb 24).

Dr Zaliha said this when asked by reporters on the update of the vaccine that was earlier estimated to arrive in Malaysia by the end of January.

On Jan 2, she was reported as saying that the Covid-19 bivalent vaccines would be supplied to the country soon, following the approval of the conditional registration given by the Drug Control Authority.

Meanwhile, on the event, Dr Zaliha said although positive progress has been achieved in cancer management, 63.7 per cent of all reported cancer cases were already in stages three and four when they were diagnosed.

"At the third and fourth stages, the patient’s survival rate dropped significantly. This could be because of late detection, lack of awareness, poor screening rates or limited medical care availability, especially in the non-urban area.

"While treatment is essential, cancer awareness must also be prioritised,” she said.

Dr Zaliha said there was also an increase of 11 per cent in cancer cases recorded from 2012 until 2015, bringing the number to 115,238 cases from 103,507 cases from 2007 to 2011.

In 2020, she said some 48,639 new cancer cases were recorded with 29,530 deaths due to the disease.

Linac is a sophisticated linear accelerator system technology that is utilised to provide the most accurate and safe form of treatment for cancer patients.

This technology comes with state-of-the-art features namely the 6D robotic couch, Surface Guided Catalyst HD and the latest version of the treatment planning system, the Monaco and Oncology Information System (Mosaiq).- Bernama

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Dr Zaliha Mustafa , COVID-19 , vaccine , cancer , MOSAIQ


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