No Shortage of Flu (Influenza) Vaccines in Malaysia


Since July 8, several news media organisations have been reporting that an anonymous doctor received a memo from a supplier claiming that flu (influenza) vaccines would only be available in 2024. This has caused a rumour to spread on social media that we are currently facing a shortage of flu vaccines.

We wish to stress that there is NO SHORTAGE of the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are actually available in many clinics and hospitals nationwide. The media would have discovered this if they had checked with a few clinics instead of merely quoting the unnamed source. Flu vaccines in Malaysia are supplied by many companies and the inability of one company does not reflect the true situation.

Flu cases have been increasing around the country recently. As healthcare professionals, we advise the public to get their annual flu shot, especially pregnant women, young children, people with chronic health conditions, and older persons. These high-risk groups are susceptible to severe flu which may result in acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, multi-organ failure and even death.

Besides emphasising flu vaccination, we also urge the public to continue practising SOPs (such as wearing a mask indoors, frequent handwashing with soap and water, and physical distancing wherever possible). These SOPs help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and flu.

This article is contributed by Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, Technical Committee Chairman, Immunise4Life Programme, and does not represent the views or opinions of Health Matters Malaysia.

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