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Malaysia launches AstraZeneca COVID jab for people over 60 | News about the pandemic coronavirus

The government has been criticized for a slow vaccination campaign amid rising number of cases.

Malaysia’s health authorities said the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca was safe to use, three days after the Southeast Asian country received its first injection from the COVAX facility led by the World Health Organization. head.

Health Minister Adham Baba confirmed the decision in a televised press conference on Monday, and said the injection would be administered to people over 60.

Some countries have restricted or discontinued use of the drug due to possible association with a rare blood clotting disorder. AstraZeneca says regulatory reviews in the UK and Europe have documented their vaccine offers a high level of protection and its benefits outweigh any risks.

Malaysia, a country with a population of more than 30 million, received the first shipment of nearly 270,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Friday.

Department officials say the vaccine has been found to be “suitable for use” for people 60 years of age and older and that they are evaluating available data before it is approved for use by those who are 60 and older. young.

Malaysia has allowed major markets to kick off this month for Ramadan – under certain conditions – despite increasing COVID cases. [Lim Huey Teng/Reuters]

Malaysia has secured a total of 12.8 million doses from AstraZeneca, half of which will arrive via COVAX. It is expected to receive its first 600,000 doses by June.

The country started its vaccination campaign in February with doctors, essential staff and politicians lined up first.

This month, they extended the vaccination to people with underlying diseases like heart disease and diabetes, people with disabilities and everyone over 60 years old. So far, they have used the vaccines Pfizer BioNTech and Sinovac, developed in China.

In January, the government imposed a state of emergency that suspended Parliament, in a move it deems necessary to address the pandemic.

But the country, after the conditional lip lock earlier this year, has allowed public life to continue almost normally as long as its residents abide by health regulations such as wearing masks and keeping muscle distance. body, is witnessing the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

Infections rose 26.6% in the week to Saturday with 246 people currently receiving intensive care, according to the Health Ministry. About 106 people died from the virus last week, compared with 84 people last week.

Only over 500,000 people have received both doses of the vaccine.



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