KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — A few Malaysians today complained that their digital Covid-19 vaccination certificates featured vaccine manufacturers that did not match the ones listed by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
Belinda Loh — who plans to visit the United Kingdom next month — said her vaccination certificate on the MySejahtera app listed South Korea’s SK Bioscience as the manufacturer for her first AstraZeneca-Oxford dose taken at the University Malaya vaccination centre (PPV) last June 30.
However, NPRA’s lot release certificate stated that the vaccine with lot number ABX6083, as stated on Loh’s vaccination certificate for her first dose, was produced in Sweden under the Vaxzevria brand name.
Loh’s vaccination certificate states that her second AstraZeneca dose taken at the University Malaya PPV last September 11, with batch number PV46701, was manufactured by Astra Zeneca UK.
NPRA’s lot release certificate, however, states that the vaccine with lot number PV46701 was manufactured in Sweden.
NPRA’s lot release certificates are public documents published on their website, with vaccine lot numbers searchable on Google.
Loh expressed concern about the contradictory information on the vaccine manufacturer — especially for her first dose that is stated on her vaccination certificate to be produced in South Korea — due to UK’s travel rules.
“I haven’t booked [my trip] yet as I want to get ready all documents, intend to go Nov,” Loh said, upon contacting CodeBlue with her complaint.
The UK government specifically lists AstraZeneca Covishield, which is produced in India, and AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, as among the approved coronavirus vaccines for travel into England that exempts fully vaccinated travellers from rules like a pre-departure Covid-19 test, a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in England, and a Covid-19 test on Day Eight.
An October 20 email from the Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya state health department’s Covid-19 Immunisation Operations Room to Loh said that the batch number in the digital vaccination certificate is derived from the vaccine management system under the National Pharmaceutical Division at the Ministry of Health (MOH) Putrajaya and also NPRA.
“The information entered in the system is not done by us as we have no authority to do so. We do not have the authority to even view without authorisation the Lot Release (Certificate for the Release) that you have attached,” read the email from [email protected], as sighted by CodeBlue.
Loh, who called NPRA’s general line earlier today, said an NPRA officer told her that she had also received plenty of complaints about the issue and “confirmed that it is not NPRA’s fault and asked me to contact MySejahtera again.”
An officer from MySejahtera’s help desk simply told Loh that he would lodge a report.
CodeBlue also received complaints from another woman who said that her digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate listed her second AstraZeneca dose’s origin as SK Bioscience, even though NPRA’s lot release certificate states that the vaccine with the batch number as stated on her certificate was produced in Sweden.
The woman, who declined to be named, told CodeBlue that her husband faced similar problems. His digital vaccination certificate stated that his second AstraZeneca dose was produced in South Korea, even though NPRA’s lot release certificate stated that the vaccine came from Thailand’s Siam Bioscience.
This writer’s own digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate also contains contradictory information on the manufacturer for the second AstraZeneca dose compared to NPRA’s lot release certificate. The vaccination certificate states that the second dose was manufactured by SK Bioscience, even though NPRA states that that particular batch was produced by Siam Bioscience.
The health worker administering this writer’s second jab at UM PPV had similarly said that the vaccine came from Thailand.
CodeBlue has contacted MOH for comments. MySejahtera, which is owned by MOH, came under scrutiny after several Malaysians complained about receiving spam email from the app’s helpdesk and spam OTP SMSes.