With the recent rise in flu cases, Malaysians can now find comfort in knowing that there will be enough supply of flu vaccine as extra consignments of flu vaccine have just been brought into the country.
According to health minister, Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, about 600,000 doses of flu vaccine were imported in 2019. However, due to a spike of flu cases, an additional 92,700 doses of the vaccine were brought in on December 2nd.
“An extra 16,000 doses are expected to be available on Jan 20. The so-called shortage of vaccines has been overcome,” he said.
“The lack of availability was just a transient effect due to a sudden spike in demand,” he told the press after attending the ministry’s New Year gathering held here yesterday” he added.
In ensuring there’s sufficient supply of oral antiviral drug Tamiflu, private clinics will also be allowed to seek alternative supply of medicines rather than sourcing them from the five companies listed on the ministry’s registry.
The Ministry is also looking at approving the purchase of one million flu tablets to treat 100,000 patients, prioritizing high-risk groups such as those with diabetes and heart and kidney problems.
As advised by health experts, Dr Zulkefly also explained that flu shots should be given to those aged five years and below, and senior citizens aged 65 and above.
In line with the ministry’s goal in protecting the health and wellbeing of Malaysians, the national pneumococcal vaccination programme was also launched recently, targeting those born from January 1st.
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya