Govt allocates RM10m for Covid-19 vaccine adverse side-effect special aid

PUTRAJAYA (March 22): The government has allocated an initial fund of RM10 million for special financial assistance to Malaysians and foreigners who experience adverse side-effects after being vaccinated under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, when announcing the matter today said the fund, under the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund (KWABBN) will be managed by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

He said vaccine recipients who suffer serious side-effects that require long-term hospital treatment would receive RM50,000, while RM500,000 aid would be given in the event of death or permanent disability due to Covid-19 vaccination.

“The special financial assistance is a proactive move by the government to deal with the possibility of adverse effects brought about by the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said told a press conference here.

Present was National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Dr Adham said, it is hoped that the special assistance could help meet the needs of vaccine recipients and their family members who might be affected by the side-effect of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said the Health Ministry had set up three committees, namely the Special Pharmacovigilance Committee for Covid-19 Vaccine Monitoring; the Medical Technical Committee; and the Special Financial Assistance Steering Committee for Covid-19 Vaccine Exigencies to conduct the side-effect assessment.

The Special Pharmacovigilance Committee for Covid-19 Vaccine Monitoring would monitor and evaluate the adverse effects of the immunisation and safety issues related to the vaccine, he said.

Dr Adham said the Medical Technical Committee, which consists of medical experts, will determine whether an application for the special financial assistance has a causal relationship with the Covid-19 vaccine.

“The assessment will be done on a case-to-case basis based on the evidence received and the report of the Special Pharmacovigilance Committee for Covid-19 Vaccine Monitoring,” he said.

Dr Adham said the Special Financial Assistance Steering Committee for Covid-19 Vaccine Exigencies would provide approval for the special financial assistance based on the decisions of the two committees.

On the side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine, he said 20 side effects have been reported as of March 18, including dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, itchiness, numbness, rashes and chest tightness.

He said these side effects were reported through the MySejahtera application and the observation centre at Vaccine Distribution Centres.

Dr Adham said individuals who experienced chest discomfort after vaccination had been taken to hospital for further observation before being allowed to be discharged, pending their second vaccine shot, 21 days after they had received the first dose of the vaccine.

However, he said the individuals involved should receive the second dose of the vaccine at the hospital for better observation.

Dr Adham said about 80 per cent of vaccine recipients have experienced injection site pain, fatigue (60%), headache (50%) and swelling at the injection site (10%).

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