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KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — The government today defended Malaysia’s current vaccination rates, attributing it to incoming shipments of vaccine supplies and not due to possible vaccine hoarding.
Dispelling claims of low vaccination rates amongst the population, National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia has a 75 per cent vaccine utilisation rate of all incoming Covid-19 vaccines.
“There are perceptions out there on the subsequent success of the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout that if given the chance, everyone wanted to be vaccinated early.
“I understand that and it is not the question about the government’s unwillingness to provide vaccines for the public to get vaccinated quickly. The issue here is supplies,” he said in a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
As of May 2, the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) website states that 883,661 individuals have been vaccinated out of 9,447,232 registered.
He said the remaining 25 per cent was kept in reserve and was to be utilised for upcoming appointments based on incoming scheduled vaccine shipments.
To date, Khairy said Malaysia has obtained 1,978,660 vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinovac of which 1,453,382 doses have been administered.
“So this shows the utilisation rate of 75 per cent.
“When the vaccine arrives we continue with the rollout. There is no issue of us withholding vaccines whatsoever,” he said, adding that the government aims to ramp up utilisation rate to 80 per cent after the Hari Raya festivities.