Bersatu minister Redzuan asks why govt selective on Covid-19 vaccines in times of emergency

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia lawmaker asked why the government refused to accept other brands of vaccines which have received approval from their countries of origin and the World Health Organisation (WHO). ― Picture by Hari Anggara
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia lawmaker asked why the government refused to accept other brands of vaccines which have received approval from their countries of origin and the World Health Organisation (WHO). ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Special Functions Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof has today questioned the government’s decision to accept only certain vaccines in times of emergency.

Redzuan, who has been removed from National Security Council (NSC) meetings on Covid-19, said he feels that more can be done in National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme to expedite the vaccination process, Malaysiakini reported.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia lawmaker asked why the government refused to accept other brands of vaccines which have received approval from their countries of origin and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“In Malaysia, we have the law that medicine brought into the country must get approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) or the product can be confiscated.

“But during an emergency, the general should be able to invoke his authority to overrule NPRA,” he was quoted saying by the news portal.

“For example, if the world can accept vaccines which received the EUL (Emergency Use Listing) from their countries of origin and WHO, we should be using them to have a more diverse supply of vaccines,” he adde.

Redzuan also said that the country should no longer rely solely on Covax and NPRA for vaccines approval.

“Today there are other vaccines like Sputnik V and Sinopharm,” he explained.

The Alor Gajah MP also pointed out how the Sinovac vaccine from China received a conditional nod from NPRA in March.

“Before Sinovac received its recent WHO approval, the vaccine had received EUL from its country of origin. However, there are other vaccines which have EUL from their countries of origin but until today, they are not approved by NPRA.

“We need to be consistent. Why is NPRA not facilitating to add more vaccine supply to what we already have?

“In my opinion, we are now in an emergency, we can invoke our powers over NPRA based on the EUL from the countries of origin and WHO. What is our problem? This is what raises many questions from the perspective of management,” he said.

The minister in charge of vaccines Khairy Jamaluddin, and health minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, are from Umno — which has been bickering publicly with Redzuan’s party Bersatu.

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