People can record COVID-19 vaccination process, says Khairy following claims of improperly administered doses
KUALA LUMPUR: Vaccine recipients can now record themselves being jabbed at COVID-19 vaccine distribution centres, said Malaysia's Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin.
This followed several claims of improperly administered doses involving underdosage, empty syringe and others since the national vaccination drive began in February.
“To ensure no more uncertainty, I have ordered that firstly, as usual, we ensure the SOPs (standard operating procedures) are in existence - to show the recipient the syringe which has been filled with the correct dosage before vaccination takes place," said Mr Khairy, who is the coordinating minister of the national COVID-19 immunisation programme.
“And number two, I have given approval, and I’ve also obtained the Minister of Health’s approval, that if there were orders not to allow (video recording), now, recipients can video their vaccination,” he said in a press conference on Friday (Jul 23) alongside Health Minister Adham Baba.
READ: 'Quite impossible' for COVID-19 vaccine recipient to be injected with empty syringe, says Selangor health department
Mr Khairy added this would ensure both the recipients and the health personnel had hard proof that the former had received their proper vaccine dosage.
He said there had only been 13 police reports on alleged empty vaccinations made, and urged the Malaysian public to take the viral reports of such claims in the context of 16 million doses cumulatively administered nationwide thus far.
About 500,000 doses of vaccines are administered by frontliners daily, he added.
The minister said of the 13 police reports made, a number had been concluded as misunderstanding, and the complainants had erased their postings from their social media.
“There are also cases where the complainants made a police report because their arms did not feel numb, because there were no side effects from the vaccines,” he said, adding that the side effects of vaccination differ from one person to the next.
Earlier this week, a video was shared on social media, purportedly showing a nurse injecting the syringe needle into a recipient's arm and then withdrawing it without pushing the plunger. The incident happened at a drive-through facility.
A man had separately claimed on Facebook that he was jabbed with an empty syringe - with its plunger already pushed to the end - at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Jul 17.
In May, an elderly woman had to be jabbed twice after it was discovered that her first vaccination was not complete with no vaccine actually injected into her arm.
READ: Malaysia COVID-19 task force cooperating with authorities over claims of improperly administered vaccine doses
Mr Khairy said on Friday that the nurse in a viral case in an army facility in Kedah had admitted negligence because of fatigue.
The minister said that the nurse in question had been given a warning by the army chief and she would also have to face disciplinary action from the health ministry.
Mr Khairy also added that police investigations thus far showed there was no direct link between the alleged "empty injection" cases and syndicates selling vaccines.
Mr Khairy said human error in dispensing vaccines was common worldwide.
“But two wrongs don’t make a right, so for those cases where there is human negligence, I apologise and of course, we will do better,” he said.
In a Facebook posting hailing the new record of 507,050 doses administered at the close of Jul 22, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that 46.7 per cent of Malaysia's adult population had received at least one vaccination dose, while 21.8 per cent had completed both doses.
Malaysia has seen a sharp spike in COVID-19 deaths over the past few days, with the highest fatality at 199 on Jul 21.
The country reported yet another record high of 15,573 new cases on Friday, bringing the total tally to 980,491 cases, with 7,574 deaths.