Dr Noor Hisham says no plans just yet to take donated Covid-19 vaccine from UAE as source unknown

R. Loheswar
·2-min read
The Health director-general said he has no idea where the vaccine is from, and added that all vaccines that enter the country must first be approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). — Reuters pic
The Health director-general said he has no idea where the vaccine is from, and added that all vaccines that enter the country must first be approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — The Health Ministry does not plan to accept the 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine purportedly donated by the United Arab Emirates to Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

The Health director-general said he has no idea where the vaccine is from, and added that all vaccines that enter the country must first be approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“We heard about this matter but more importantly this has to go through the NRPA. Only after that can we actually use it in the country,” Dr Noor Hisham told a news conference aired from Putrajaya.

“Second is we need to look at the arrangement. If procurement is from the UAE or China, they need to appoint a company to facilitate their registration with NRPA in the country. Then NRPA will monitor the safety and efficacy of the product.

“On our part, once we receive the clinical trial reports from China, we need around 90 to 100 days to study them before making a decision,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that he was unable to verify if the UAE vaccine was from China or anywhere else when asked.

“It’s just hearsay at the moment. We are waiting for the documentation, but thus far nothing has been sent to the NRPA,” he said.

The UAE is Malaysia’s largest trading partner in the West Asian region with a bilateral trade value of US$6.42 billion (RM25.9 billion) last year.

Word of the UAE donating the Covid-19 vaccine to Malaysia spread following news of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s five-day visit to Abu Dhabi last week.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the special visit was at the invitation of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al Nahyan.

He added that the visit was to discuss the UAE government’s intention to donate 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Malaysia for the purpose of the third phase of the clinical test in the country.

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