Buying Covid-19 vaccines? Not so quick as no infrastructure yet, Dr Noor Hisham says

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on November 4, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on November 4, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared that Malaysia has not yet built enough infrastructure to procure and store Covid-19 vaccines.

In a press conference today, Dr Noor Hisham highlighted the need for at least for a cold-chain with temperature as low as -80 degree Celsius in order to safely transport and store Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia.

“Obviously, there are a lot of logistics issues,” he told a press conference.

“For example, there is a cold chain of -80 degrees that needs to be planned, and we would need to provide all that infrastructure before we can procure the vaccine.”

Dr Noor Hisham added that although there are 11 Covid-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials, they have yet to read the reports from any of them and hope that they will read one soon so they can fully analyse in terms of safety and efficacy of the vaccine before procuring it.

“We will wait for phase three of the clinical trials before committing. Hopefully, we will get a positive response. Nonetheless, we will be very thorough in terms of looking into the details,” he said.

Yesterday, drugmaker Pfizer Inc said its experimental Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective based on initial trial results.

Last week, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government will make advanced bookings of Covid-19 vaccines with the over RM3 billion allocation under Budget 2021.

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