Five To Six Million Covid Vaccine Doses Left, Many Destroyed After Expiry

Anwar Ibrahim urges Malaysians to get boosted, as there are 5-6 million Covid vaccine doses left. This is only enough to increase first booster coverage to 65-68% of the population.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 – Five to six million Covid-19 vaccine doses are left in stock in Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim said today, after expired doses were destroyed due to poor demand.

Only about half of Malaysia’s total population have received their first Covid booster jab, or about 16.28 million people.

With only five to six million vaccine doses remaining in stock, that will only be sufficient to give a third dose to another 15 to 18 per cent of the population, or 65 per cent to 68 per cent in total.

The first booster coverage will be less should more people take up their second booster. According to KKMNow statistics, only 2 per cent of the population, or more than 640,000 people, have received their fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“We have sufficient vaccines, but many were destroyed after expiry because of poorer demand than that for the first and second doses,” Anwar told a press conference today after a Cabinet meeting. “So the remaining doses are around five million, six million now.”

“I urge people who have not yet taken their booster to take it. Based on forecasts from the Ministry of Health (MOH), infections are unpredictable and have not yet ended. Those who took the first and second dose should take their booster because vaccines are still there.”

About 84.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total population, or 27.5 million people, have taken two Covid-19 vaccine doses after the previous government used vaccine mandates to deny entry into public premises, including government services, for those who were not fully vaccinated.

Besides the decision not to reimpose vaccine mandates for booster shots, the government has also decided not to restore blanket mask mandates for flights or indoor public areas.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa claimed yesterday that planes have “good ventilation systems” and said that the requirement to wear face masks would continue to apply only to health care settings and public transport except air.

Both the World Health Organization and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend wearing face masks on airplanes.

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