PETALING JAYA, Jan 18 — About 200,000 influenza vaccine doses are being brought into the country this month and the next, to meet high demand for the immunisation.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said 16,800 doses arrived today.
Another 15,000 doses will arrive on Monday, while 67,000 doses will arrive on Jan 27, bringing the total number of doses imported into the country this month, to close to 100,000.
The remaining 100,000 doses will be acquired in the next two to three weeks, he told reporters after officiating at the Malaysian Medical Association’s (MMA) Health Carnival at the Peladang Building in Jalan Templer, here today.
The carnival is being held today in 11 states across the country to emphasise the importance of health among the public.
Meanwhile, the minister urged all healthcare service providers not to take advantage of the current epidemic by profiteering and overcharging patients for the vaccine at preposterous prices.
He said although it is up to providers to set the price of the influenza vaccine in view of the fact that it is not categorised as a controlled medicine, a reasonable price should not exceed RM100.
“We need to work together to help combat the disease as the demand and supply have become six times higher.
“We have yet to receive any complaints from the public on the matter... but the public is free to do so if they encounter any irresponsible healthcare providers,” the minister said.
Earlier in his speech, Dr. Dzulkefly called on all Malaysians to “take responsibility for their own health, adopt healthy habits from a young age and live healthy lifestyles, or retirement funds and savings will be spent on hospital bills... this is the painful reality”.
“It is my hope that more Malaysians will understand the importance of health in all we do, and without health, we may not even progress to our fullest potential in our careers... our nation’s productivity and finances can also be affected,” he added. — Bernama