Parliament: Nearly 9.2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines expired as of June 11 – Dr Dzulkefly

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 (Bernama) — As of June 11, a total of 9,159,151 doses of COVID-19 vaccines stored in the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) facilities or warehouses have expired, representing approximately 10.8 per cent of the total doses obtained through procurement and donations.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the total loss, including logistics and storage costs, amounted to RM185 million (USD 40 million).

“The disposal and reporting of expired vaccines in the custody of the MOH are conducted in accordance with asset inventory management procedures,” he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat here today.

He said this in reply to a question from Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu), who wanted to know the exact number of COVID-19 vaccines that had expired and the estimated financial loss incurred by the government.

Since the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) began on Feb 24, 2021, the government has received a total of 84.5 million doses of vaccine through procurement and donations.

On the issue of losses, Dr Dzulkefly acknowledged that the unprecedented nature of the pandemic meant there were no standard operating procedures (SOPs), best practices or benchmarks in place at the time.

“I understand that any surplus of vaccines was a consequence of the intense competition to obtain them during the early stages of the pandemic,” he said, adding that having faced this pandemic, SOPs and best practices have been developed to better handle future pandemics.

On adverse effects following immunisation (AEFI) caused by the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr Dzulkefly reported that common side effects amounted to approximately 368 cases while serious side effects were recorded in 26 cases, which involved hospital admissions, extended hospital stays and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).