The Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) said that there is no change in the delivery schedule of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. However, the Pfizer vaccine has also not been approved yet…
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine : What Is It?
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed by BioNTech, is an mRNA vaccine called BNT162b2.
It uses messenger RNA technology to program our cells to create the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins.
These spike proteins trigger the body’s immune system, training it to create antibodies that target the actual SARS-CoV-2 virus.
If we ever get infected by SARS-CoV-2 after being vaccinated, those antibodies will immediately attach to the virus particles :
- preventing them from infecting our cells
- cause the virus particles to stick together (agglutinate), making them easier targets
- identifying the virus particles as targets for phagocytic cells to destroy
The immune response to the spike proteins will also train memory cells, so that they can respond to a future COVID-19 infection weeks or months after vaccination.
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KKM : No Change In Pfizer Vaccine Delivery
On 27 November 2020, Malaysia announced the purchase of 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which will be delivered in four tranches :
- Q1 2021 : 1 million doses
- Q2 2021 : 1.7 million doses
- Q3 2021 : 5.8 million doses
- Q4 2021 : 4.3 million doses
But after the Wall Street Journal wrote about a 50% cut in 2020 production of the Pfizer vaccine, there were concerns that we may not even get the vaccine in Q1 2021.
Malaysia Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, clarified on 6 December 2020 that the NPRA (National Pharmacutical Regulatory Agency) has not received any notification of vaccine delivery issues from Pfizer.
He assured the public that KKM is always monitoring developments, and receives advanced notice on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Therefore, as far as they are concerned, there has been no change in the delivery schedule.
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KKM : No Approval Of Pfizer Vaccine Yet
The Malaysia DG Health also announced that the NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency) has yet to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in Malaysia.
In fact, they have not even received documents from Pfizer for the evaluation of the registration and testing of the BNT162b2 vaccine.
Regardless of what the Pfizer vaccine delivery schedule is like, it must first be evaluated, tested and approved by KKM and the NPRA, before it can be used in Malaysia.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotspots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
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