Over eight million Covid vaccine shots will expire by Sept, says Health Ministry
KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Over eight million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines have expiry dates between February and September, according to the Health Ministry.
In a written parliamentary reply today, it said these vaccines could still be employed in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) until their expiry.
“Overall, there are 8,633,249 doses from various brands that will expire between February 2023 and September 2023.
“The current vaccine supply will be used to continue PICK, especially for booster doses,” the Health Ministry said.
The Health Ministry was responding to DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii who asked the ministry to state the percentage of Covid-19 vaccine doses including those used for fourth dose.
He also asked about the remaining vaccine stocks and their expiry dates, and the ministry’s plans on purchasing the bivalent vaccine.
In a list provided by the ministry, vaccine brands are Sinopharm’s Covilo (499,970 doses expiring September), Can Sino’s Convidencia (144,978 doses expired in February, 2.1 million expiring in March, and 900,000 expiring April), Sinovac’s Coronavac (1.16 million expiring from March to July, 1 million expiring September), Pfizer’s Comirnaty (2.59 million expiring by April 2023), and Pfizer’s Comirnaty Paeds (244,262 expiring by June 2023).
Yesterday, while debating the Health Ministry’s budget today, DAP lawmaker Wong Kah Woh urged Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa to reveal the financial cost of the expired vaccines.
His request came after a parliamentary written reply on Monday said a total of 2,796,638 doses of Covid-19 vaccine stocks of various brands have expired at the Ministry of Health facility and the Covid-19 vaccine storage warehouse as of February 28 this year.
The Health Ministry in the written reply also said that the amount includes 3.27 per cent of the total amount received by the government, including donations.
The minister said in the reply, however, that it could not provide an answer for the amount of losses incurred on expired vaccines due to the ministry bound by vaccine manufacturers’ non-disclosure agreements.