Wasted 6 million doses of Covid vaccine – someone became very rich from deliberate over-purchase

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In line with transparency, the new government should unveil the information related to the dates of purchase, brands of vaccines, the actual doses and values of the vaccines destroyed as well as the dates the vaccines were destroyed.

Khairy Jamaluddin, former Science, Technology, Innovation Minister publicly announced in February 2021 that the backdoor government of Muhyiddin Yassin will ensure that “not a single dose” of Covid-19 vaccine is wasted once the national immunisation programme kicked off at the end of the month. The vaccine was so precious that people scrambled to get inoculated.

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Due to the shortage of vaccines back then, Khairy said people cannot choose the vaccine brand as it would lead to confusion, bias, discrimination and logistical problems. There were naughty rumours that ethnic Chinese were given inferior Made-in-China vaccines while ethnic Malay was vaccinated with the superior Pfizer brand. But people didn’t really care as long as they got the shot.

Khairy said – “We do not want it to be stored for a period longer than necessary from the storage facility to the vaccination centre. We want to create a logistic system that is on time to the demand and supply”. Additionally, Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said those who fail to attend the vaccination appointment without compelling reason can be prosecuted.

A year later, as more Malaysians have been fully vaccinated, the vaccination rate was slowing down. That led to public concerns about vaccine wastage as some could be expiring soon. However, Dr Noor Hisham assured the public that the Covid-19 vaccines won’t go to waste. February 2022 was also the date the country rolled out Covid vaccination for kids aged 5 to 12.

As of Oct 2022, more than 72 million doses of Covid vaccines had been administered – 28.1 million people received at least 1 dose, 27.5 million received two doses and 16.2 million received the booster shot. Only 2% of the population (640,000 people) had received their fourth dose. A whopping 61.2% received the Pfizer brand, while 29.8% took Sinovac and 7.9% people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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Newly crowned Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim revealed two days ago (Jan 4, 2023) that a jaw-dropping 6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses are left in stock after expired doses were destroyed because of poor demand. While the precise number of vaccine doses destroyed is unknown, it’s not rocket science that the remaining 6 million doses will soon face the same fate.

While the previous two clueless and incompetent backdoor prime ministers – Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri – are known for mishandling the pandemic, the latest revelation by PM Anwar shows there could be hanky-panky in the procurement of the vaccine. This is beyond a mismatch between demand and purchase because 6 million doses are about 20% of the entire population.

In line with transparency, the new government should unveil the information related to the dates of purchase, brands of vaccines, the actual doses and values of the vaccines destroyed as well as the dates the vaccines were destroyed. In fact, an audit should be carried out to verify that public funds had been used to purchase the actual amount of vaccine doses as claimed by the previous regime.

For example, how do we know that physically there are actually 6 million doses of vaccine left in the inventory? Heck, how do we even know that those expired doses which had already been destroyed actually existed in the first place? After all, how difficult it is to forge documents on the purchase of the vaccines with the intention to cheat and steal under the previous governments?

It’s worth noting that between March 2020 and August 2021, the power-crazy PM Muhyiddin had declared a State of Emergency where he ruled with absolute power. During his 17-month illegitimate administration, the Parliament was deliberately locked down to prevent not only his legitimacy from being challenged, but also to stop Members of Parliament from questioning how he spent taxpayers’ money.

Besides Khairy, the best person to be grilled is none other than Dr Noor, who served under both Muhyiddin and Ismail. As early as March 2022, barely a month after Muhyiddin government kicked off Covid vaccination for kids aged 5 to 12, it was revealed that 6.6 million doses of Pfizer vaccine were ordered against an estimation of only 1.6 million kids may be inoculated by April.

As a result, 3.3 million unused doses – translating to 50% wastage – of the Pfizer vaccine may be forced to be dumped. Even before the vaccine specifically formulated for kids were wasted due to over-purchase, the genius health ministry had already wasted 409,000 AstraZeneca doses from the final batch of 1,365,200 doses received on February 16, 2022.

The government bought so many doses of Covid vaccine as if they were free that Malaysia planned to donate 1.6 million doses to Afghanistan and 559,200 doses to Bangladesh. The Ministry of Health actually admitted throwing away the Coronavirus vaccines due to mishandling and storage errors. As of Feb 18, 2022, the government ordered a jaw-dropping 88.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meaning between 88.1 million doses purchased (as of Feb 18, 2022) and 72 million doses administered (as of Oct 2022), the country had overbought to the tune of 16 million doses of vaccine. But Khairy Jamaluddin, who was appointed Health Minister in the Sabri administration effective August 2021 after PM Muhyiddin lost power, was not done with his shopping spree.

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In September 2022, a month before the Parliament was dissolved for the 15th General Election, Health Minister Khairy announced that the government will buy the newest version of Covid-19 vaccines, despite acknowledging the country has in excess of about 4 million doses. The new “bivalent vaccine” from Pfizer was supposed to be effective against Omicron sub-variants such as BA.4 and BA.5.

Yet, as at Dec 31, 2022, there were 4,148 cases infected with BA.5.2 and three cases infected with BF.7 in Malaysia. Clearly there is contradiction in the number of unused vaccines. Based on PM Anwar’s revelation that 6 million doses are fast expiring in store, a whopping 10 million doses (16 million overbought doses) could have been quietly destroyed.

So, the burning question is why Health Minister Khairy or Health Director-General Dr Noor transparently hadn’t informed the public about the excessive stockpile – till the issue was highlighted by the new prime minister? Had the old regime won the general election and a new government not formed, chances are the public would be kept in the dark about the wastage of vaccines.

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The most expensive and premium vaccine – Pfizer – has a shelf life of 9 months at ultra-cold freezer temperatures of -90 degrees Celsius. Assuming the brilliant Ministry of Health didn’t keep the vaccine in the fridge used by normal restaurants, the government has absolutely enough time to efficiently and responsibly plan the procurement without wasting public funds.

At a media conference on Dec 5, 2022, PM Anwar announced that the Finance Ministry had informed that there had been several breaches involving the Covid-19 funds. Panicked, ex-PM Muhyiddin screamed that he did not steal any money. Suddenly, Muhyiddin admits there was no such thing as RM600 billion spent by his previous government, contradicting his previous claims.

He said the economic stimulus package was only RM530 billion. Even then, the Perikatan Nasional chairman played down the numbers. Spilling the beans, he said his administration had only spent RM83 billion in fiscal injections. This means Muhyiddin’s government did not actually help the people to the tune of RM530 billion as shamelessly trumpeted.

Worse, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed it will now focus its investigation on the RM92.5 billion directly funded by the Muhyiddin regime after it was established that RM437.5 billion was not from the government. The difference between MACC’s RM92.5 billion and Muhyiddin’s RM83 billion means about RM10 billion might have gone “missing”.

On Friday (Jan 6, 2023), the graft buster detained a 42-year-old chief executive officer of a private company, believed to have accepted bribes acting as a middleman in the distribution of government projects under the stimulus package between 2020 and 2022. This means kickbacks to political parties linked to Perikatan Nasional, including projects like Covid-19 vaccine procurement.

At best, vaccines were deliberately overbought in massive quantities with the intention to profit from the huge markup on each dose of the Covid-19 vaccines. At worst, non-existent vaccines were recorded as destroyed under the pretext that they were nearing expiration date. Either way, someone has become very rich from direct negotiations with companies willing to pay commission on RM92.5 billion worth of dubious deals. – Finance Twitter