KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — Cancer patients will be included in the national Covid-19 vaccination programme’s second phase that targets vulnerable groups, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
The second phase of the mass coronavirus inoculation campaign — targeting people at high risk for developing severe Covid-19 disease, such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions — starts from April.
This follows the first phase starting February 26 for 500,000 frontline workers, including health care workers from the public and private sectors and those working in the essential services and security sectors. The third phase starts from this May for adults aged above 18.
“We will give priority to cancer patients; they will be included under phase two,” Dr Noor Hisham told a press conference.
He added that registration for a vaccination appointment will be opened from March 1. Registration can be done through MySejahtera or on https://www.vaksincovid.gov.my/, besides registering manually at clinics or hospitals in the government or private sector.
The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has received dossiers of clinical trial data on vaccines from AstraZeneca, China’s Sinovac, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute. So far, the NPRA has only approved the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.
“The NPRA is still evaluating the vaccine efficacy and side effects, especially from their Phase 3 clinical trials, and for the Sputnik V vaccine, we have given them questions for them to reply for approval,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
He added that the NPRA would recommend the use of Covid-19 vaccines for children aged above 12 if there is strong evidence for their effectiveness and safety.
According to the national Covid-19 vaccination programme handbook, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has been tasked as Coordinating Minister with leading the entire inoculation drive, including vaccine logistics and administration, as well as documentation and record-keeping.