GOV’T ENSURES SUPPORT FOR COVID-19 VACCINE RECIPIENTS FACING SIDE EFFECTS – DR DZULKEFLY

The government is committed to offering continued care for individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, including those administered with AstraZeneca, and who may have encountered side effects. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the government has data on adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) caused by COVID-19 vaccines and has methods to treat side effects. 'AstraZeneca has recalled their vaccine, and this is global. What we want to ensure is that if anyone has evidence-based concerns related to the AstraZeneca vaccine, we have ways to ensure they get assistance. 'That is the assurance given by the government. We will be able to identify such cases, and we also have a registry, we have the data,' he told a press conference here today after the handover ceremonies of the Kepala Batas health clinic and a new building for the Baling Hospital. Dr Dzulkefly said the government will also be responsible for vaccine recipients from other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer-BioN Tech and Sinovac, should they also encounter adverse reactions. According to media reports, Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has said that it had begun a worldwide withdrawal of its COVID-19 vaccine after admitting in court documents that the vaccine causes side effects such as blood clots and low blood platelet counts in 'more than one in 10 people'. In response, Dr Dzulkefly said yesterday that the Health Ministry (MOH) will soon be issuing a statement on the matter. He also said that the issue would not affect other vaccination programmes including the National Immunisation Programme (NIP). He said while some individuals may be sensitive to vaccine-related issues, the NIP, a long-standing practice in the country, has effectively bolstered childhood immunisation efforts and prevented the spread of serious diseases. 'The COVID-19 vaccine is another matter altogether. We also have other vaccination programmes such as HPV to combat cervical cancer, and the NIP, which has proven invaluable to parents gi ven the high cost associated with these vaccines. 'There is no dispute when it comes to this. I believe the people are aware, have the knowledge and are informed. We will continue to educate the people,' he said. Source: BERNAMA News Agency