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KUALA LUMPUR, The Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently in the process of procuring vaccines to make up for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for 820,000 Form 1 girls who missed out.

Deputy Minister Lukanisman Awang Saun said the global disruption in the supply of HPV vaccines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the delivery of HPV vaccination in Malaysia, especially for Form 1 female students from 2021.

"The procurement of the vaccines took into account the government's procurement process in line with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

"The ministry is committed to ensuring that all Form 1 female students from 2021, 2022 and 2023 receive HPV vaccine before they complete their schooling," he said when replying to a question from Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (PH-Bandar Kuching) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Dr Kelvin wanted to know what plans the ministry has for purchasing HPV vaccines, what type of vaccines will be procured and the timeline to ensure that school dropouts, especially during the COVID-19 period, receive the vaccine.

Lukanisman said female students from the 2021 cohort (who are currently in Form 3) would be given priority for the HPV vaccination before being dispensed to those from cohort 2022 and 2023, depending on the number of vaccines received.

Responding to Dr Kelvin's supplementary question on expediting the procurement process, he said the ministry had already opened tenders for the purchase of appropriate types of vaccines and is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Finance to expedite the process.

The MOH has also prepared 600 vaccination teams to be deployed in each school for vaccination.

Replying to another supplementary question from Dr Halimah Ali (PN-Kapar) on the one-dose vaccine and HPV vaccination efforts, Lukanisman said the Ministry of Health was confident that vaccination efforts would be expedited to ensure that no one was left behind in the vaccination process.

"We are actually using the quadrivalent vaccine with two doses at the moment and our plan for the next procurement is to give a vaccine with one dose. We guarantee efficacy with a single dose," he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency