Govt in midst of buying HPV vaccine doses, Dewan Rakyat told

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry is in the midst of procuring HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccines to continue its drive to protect target groups.

Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said the Covid-19 pandemic had disrupted the HPV vaccination drive especially for Form 1 female students or 13 year-old girls from the 2021 batch onwards.

He said the procurement plan will be in line with the government’s procurement standards in line with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“The Health Ministry is committed to ensuring that all female students in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 cohorts who have been left out will receive their HPV vaccination before they complete their schooling,” he said during question time in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Oct 17).

“The priority for vaccination will be for Form 1 female students from the 2021 cohort, followed by the 2022 cohort and the 2023 cohort. The timeline for the vaccination will depend on the vaccines procured and also the type of vaccine that will be given is the Type 18 one,” he added.

ALSO READ : HPV vaccination resumes for Form 1 female students

Lukanisman was responding to a question by Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) on the plan to purchase the vaccine, the type of vaccine and the timeframe for vaccination.

Yii also said during his supplementary question that parents are worried that their daughters may have missed the vaccination schedule due to Covid-19.

He said there are some 800,000 girls who may require HPV vaccination and the ministry plans to speed up the process.

Lukanisman said there had been problems with the supply of HPV vaccines due to Covid-19, adding that the ministry has prepared 600 teams to carry out the vaccination drive at schools once the vaccines arrive.

“We have open tenders for the suitable vaccines. We are waiting for the Finance Ministry’s approval to expedite the procurement process,” he said.

ALSO READ : The hope of eradicating cervical cancer through vaccination

The HPV vaccines are administered to prevent cervical cancer and are typically dispensed to Form One female students under the government’s national immunisation programme.

In December last year, the ministry was able to procure a total of 100,000 HPV vaccine doses when the price of the injection rose six fold and has been dispensed to Form One female students across the country.

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