Press statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP For Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 5 July 2021:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Should Be The Final Arbiter Of Vaccine Recognition And Not Allow Geopolitical Interests To Discriminate Between Vaccines Or Source Of Production
DAP is concerned that the European Union (EU) only recognises Vaxzevria (the AstraZeneca vaccine) that has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This effectively withholds recognition of AstraZeneca produced from SK Bioscience Korea Selatan and Siam Bioscience Thailand. Apparently, Malaysia has bought the AstraZeneca vaccines from these two sources of plant production, implying that we should not have bought from these two sources.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) should be the final arbiter of vaccine recognition and not allow geopolitical interests to discriminate between vaccines or source of production. At a time when the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis, it is disconcerting that there are neighbouring countries that refuse to abide by WHO’s recognition of Sinovac from China or other vaccines just because they are produced in certain countries.
To allow geopolitical interests to intrude on health is unfair and outrageous.
This will only create further confusion amongst our public and may affect the national immunisation programme to achieve 80% herd immunity. So far WHO has never questioned the efficacy or safety of Sinovac or AstraZeneca produced in South Korea or Thailand. Using vaccine recognition as a geopolitical weapon to discriminate between vaccines from specific countries will also affect the countries buying and using these vaccines.
The government must aggressively pursue this serious matter with the EU and neighbouring countries concerned to reassure the public of the efficacy and safety of the vaccines.