Former health minister Dr S Subramaniam has suggested that Putrajaya donate some of the eight million Covid-19 vaccine doses that are set to expire in September.
Apart from donating the vaccines, the government could look into helping other nations with the logistics of vaccinating their populations, Subramaniam said.
He said some of these countries lacked logistical facilities to implement their immunisation programmes, adding that Putrajaya could hold discussions with their foreign counterparts on how they could be supported in those areas.
Zaliha also said 2,796,638 doses of various brands worth about RM81.4 million had expired as of Feb 28.
However, the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy said any opportunity to donate the doses should have been discussed by the government at the start of the year.
“It is too late now as those countries would be reluctant to take the vaccines when there is little time to plan their vaccination programmes,” its CEO, Azrul Khalib, told FMT.
He said only more “privileged” countries such as Malaysia had the issue of “oversupply” of vaccines.
“We need to emphasise to the public again about the need to get their booster shots, especially if they have only received their primary jabs. If the stock is not utilised by its expiry, then it would likely be destroyed,” he said.
Subramaniam agreed with Azrul that the health ministry should ramp up its campaign to convince the people to get their booster doses.
Citing the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the region over the past few weeks, he said this surge could be used to remind the public that the virus was still in the community. – FMT