In politics if we keep quiet and stay under the radar according to a former Health Minister,””One is not a Politician if he KEEPS QUIET. ..!!!”

It does seem that a DAP upstart ( see attached extracted) is trying to create a platform for himself and making unnecessary and uncalled remarks like,”“inefficiency and lacklustre attitude” on GPS and PN especially on handling Covid19.

We would like to ask him:-

1. Is he in the frontline visiting the patients everyday?

2. Does he know enough of the word Pandemic? (…a dangerousdisease that infects many people at one time.!!!!

3. Is he well versed in the Health Sector?

We would like to ask him a ‘ton or more’ questions but it’s best for DAP to know what they should do and be seen with the RAKYAT IN AFFECTED AREAS instead of going for more “BRAGGING RIGHTS” in the public domain.

There is a time and place to do it but like our DCM mentioned to the reporters who questioned him on Politics or elections he would just reply courteously,”Not a time to politicize issues during a Pandemic covid19″

The upstart should know too that his statement will be creating more unnecessary attention towards our overworked health sectors and frontliners.


It’s just PREPOSTEROUS.……………..

(extracted from an internet portal online with thanks)

THE Perikatan Nasional and Gabungan Parti Sarawak should take the blame for the spike in Covid-19 cases, which saw total infections breaching the 200,000-mark yesterday, a DAP leader said.

Michael Kong, the special assistant to the state DAP chairman said the “inefficiency and lacklustre attitude” of PN and GPS leaders was the main reason cases in Malaysia appear to spiral out of control.

He added that while the Sabah polls last year had caused the third wave of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia, countries like New Zealand and Singapore were able to hold elections without seeing spike in Covid-19 cases.

“The key difference is the will power and determination by the respective leaders to combat Covid-19.

“While the leaders in Singapore and New Zealand took the bull by its horns and enforced strict restrictions, our leaders came up with half-baked efforts.

“Instead of leading by example, we see our leaders constantly flouting the Standard Operating Procedures,” Kong said in a statement today.

He added that even PN and GPS leaders had lost confidence in their own efforts to combat Covid-19, otherwise an Emergency would not have been declared.

Kong also criticised Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and his two deputies, Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang for failing to provide leadership in containing the spread of Covid-19.

“Instead, everything is left for the Director-General, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to lead and take responsibility,” he added.

Kong added that Malaysians yearn for the “normalcy” experienced by people in Singapore and New Zealand now and urged PN and GPS leaders to do some “self reflection and wisen up”.


The phone rang and Tan Sri Mawan answered and mentioned “Inspiring the Frontliners” on the subject matter of ‘COVID19″

Little did we know our interview was postponed as he was on the way back to his constituency in Pakan,Sarikei after only been back in Kuching for one and half days.

Our obvious reaction was Eeeeh..! Back again.. It does seem that most assemblyman during this Pandemic #covid19 is pushed to the brink and its no different to this experience and veteran assemblyman from Pakan in Tan Sri Mawan.

Will call you back or text u back he said as the phone will be out of range and our conversation will be cut off.

Wow! We know that during election time assemblyman/candidates would be criss/crossing their constituencies to ensure their vote banks are secured.

This is not election time but a Pandemic #Covid19 time and the positive figures have shot up to 255 cases in Sarawak on 24/1/21 where 1646 cases are being treated in hospitals in Sibu, Miri , Bintulu, Limbang and Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching and deaths have multiplied significantly too.

Obviously, as curious as our minds maybe but we waited for the TS Mawan to call back.

We looked up a few articles on this subject matter and these 2 caught our attention ,’Don’t relax on Vigilance despite zero-cases on four days” on 22nd August 2020 and “Sarawak CM announces RM1.15bil aid package.”

DCM Uggah who is also SDMC Chairman reminded everyone and informed the general public,”Though our figures for the last four days have been zero, it doesn’t mean that we have won the war.

The war is still going on and the situation has not stabilised as expected. Therefore, I urge Sarawakians to keep complying with the SOPs, whether we are shopping or in public places or in restaurants. As we have seen from previous experience, when all of us adhere to the SOPs, the chain of transmission can be broken.

The Chief Minister on March 23rd 2020 on the RM1.15bil aid,“The package is a balanced people and business-centric model to cushion the impact of economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government shares the pain of the rakyat during this trying time. We do not know when this pandemic will end but let us go through this together for Sarawak.

“Let us pray for the betterment of Sarawak.”

The Positive Figures have spiked and the third wave has also seen a major increase from zero transmissions to single digit and now its reached 3 digit. Most areas in Sarawak were Green but the virus has spread from the urban areas to reach the rural enclave of Sarawak. Some areas too have turned into RED ZONES.

The majority of Sarawakians do follow the SOP’s but there are some minority they do know who they are who are at fault but of course the asymptomatic are excused from the blame game.

The DCM and his SDMC team are up to their necks too with trying to contain the spread of the virus but as always its the people who will determine whether the COVID19 can be under control.

We must always be reminded though of this message,”I stay at work for you, you stay at home for us”

The post is a reminder to Sarawakians and all Malaysians that staying home not only curbs the spread of COVID-19 but lightens the burden of many medical experts and also front liners during this crucial time.

The phone rang and Tan Sri Mawan said to read his text message,”Going back to constituency to meet up with the frontliners ,to inspire them, to thank them for their unselfish work plus dedication.

We need to to appreciate them with not only words and gestures but also showing care, attention plus giving moral support to them.

They are putting their hearts and souls to contain the spread of Covid 19 and a word of “THANK YOU,TERIMA KASIH and Gestures of Thumbs up and Love hand symbol will be very much appreciative and music to their ears.

The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) Government under the leadership of CM Abang Johari has worked non stop,working extremely hard to minimize the inconveniences which the Pandemic has caused.

We are very much part of the team and we are back in “our kawasan” to ensure that the people’s welfare in terms of needs and wants are delivered and handed out.

The Frontliners are there for us and we must be there for them. Thank You. TS”

We know very well that the people will be encouraged and appreciative if the government does its utmost for their safety.

We must also be very thankful for those who sacrifice their services, in order to fight the virus and serve the country.

The Frontliners knows that the Sarawak Government have their backs and they will put in their shift to ensure that all of us will be out of reach from this Pandemic Covid 19.

It is up to each and everyone of us to also, “INSPIRE the FRONTLINERS”

“Tidak Apa Attitude” A Year since Covid19 Struck- Failures of Adherence

We all have experienced how the Pandemic #Covid19 has affected our daily lives, livelihood and the impact it has on the community at large.

There are various regulations and SOPs put up by the Authorities such as Movement Control Order (MCO), Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

We, as the general public have to play our part as well to curb the spread but a year has passed but still the virus is determined to spread its wings to all corners of Malaysia.

Why is this so and are we doing enough on our part?

Senior Minister (Cluster Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and others too will not have the answers but they have reminded us all (general public) of the imminent dangers if it continues.

Has this fallen to deaf ears?

Have the General Public given up and taken the high road”Tidak apa Attitude

Constantly, we as human beings needs to be reminded and for that the authorities on their part have not failed us.

We do need to look back at the earlier SOPs too especially on sanitization of business premises, compliance on sitting arrangements, queuing up plus of course #socialdistancing (see article attached)

If and when we do practice what is being preached Covid19 will continue to enjoy the FREEDOM to REINVENT/REENGINEER/REEVOLVE and MULTIPLY.

WHY? Simple answer, we have the lackadaisical attitude.

So,fellow Malaysians lets all buck up and unite to fight against COVID19.

Other countries have managed to stop the pandemic and we don’t see why not us too.


(Extracted from an online portal with thanks)

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Tomorrow marks a year since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country with the first case involving three Chinese nationals who entered Malaysia via Johor from Singapore on January 20, 2020.

During the first wave, the majority of Covid-19 cases were imported and did not involve Malaysians, while the infection during the second wave involved local transmissions with the first case reported on February 4, 2020.

It was during the second wave that the government imposed the movement control order (MCO), beginning March 18 with strict standard operating procedures (SOP) and a few months later, when the infection showed a declining trend, the government loosened the SOP slightly with the introduction of the conditional MCO (CMCO) from May 4 May, followed by the recovery MCO (RMCO) on June 10.

However, due to complacency, the virus has returned with a vengeance for the third wave and the government had to re-enforce the RMCO in most states beginning last October, and when the number of cases kept increasing, the government had to re-enforce the MCO, starting with six states and subsequently, nationwide, except Sarawak.

As of yesterday (January 23), the cumulative number of cases reported was 180,455, with 42,769 active cases, meaning the country is expected to continue to record high daily figures.

A total of 667 deaths due to Covid-19 has been recorded so far.

One thing that should be acknowledged is that the government has implemented various initiatives, advocacy and regulations in the country on the advice of the Health Ministry (MOH), whereby during this period, Malaysians are informed almost every day on the latest developments pertaining to the Covid-19 infection, especially by Senior Minister (Cluster Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

It has been a year, but issues on Covid-19 pose a main challenge to the country, not only in terms of health, but its impact on the economy.

Recently, during an exclusive interview with Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) journalist Thivyamalini Ramalu at his office, Ismail Sabri, as the minister responsible for the issue on addressing Covid-19 from non-health aspects, shared his views and experiences on the challenge of managing the pandemic, especially on the implementation of the prescribed SOP during the MCO, CMCO and RMCO period.

Following is the transcript of the interview:

Bernama: The Covid-19 epidemic has hit Malaysia for a year. Since March last year, the government has implemented the MCO, followed by the CMCO and RMCO. Initially, the effort seemed successful in reducing the number of cases, but it became critical to an extent that MCO was enforced again. What caused the increase in infection?

Ismail Sabri: At that time (March 2020), the people were very scared of Covid-19. When the government said ‘stay at home, do not go out’, almost all citizens obeyed and violation of the standard operating procedures (SOP) was less. But over time, (maybe) the people feel that life is back to normal because there is no MCO and even the government also started to provide relief gradually.

Almost all economic sectors were opened and even social activities, such as holding of feasts and sports activities were allowed, causing the people to feel safe from Covid-19. Although the regulation to wear face mask was observed, mass group activities still took place, especially during the Sabah State Election (PRN).

Physical distancing was almost not complied with. At that time, one of the reasons for the increase in cases in Sabah was due to foreign immigrants and spread in the next community, subsequently to the peninsula, after the PRN ended.

“Sarawak to Appeal to Yang Di Pertuan Agong to lift EMERGENCY for Elections…?”

At this present moment on the upsurge and raging of Pandemic #covid19 and with 170 Longhouses on lockdown in Sarawak a voter says

‘Politics plays a back role and more importantly the welfare and health of the people matters. What is being published in the main stream media(attached below) will not be too good for the Government of the day.

We all know that there is a need for a New Political Mandate but top priority for the people would be the “containment, vaccine and Sarawak turning green instead of now being under MCO and CMCO.”

Now, its not the time to talk about Elections and we believe the Yang Di Pertuan Agong in his wise judgement and wisdom knows best as he cares very much for his Rakyat.

No doubt, Sarawak will choose its leaders and the Government of the day and Elections will be held when the #Covid19 is under control and contained.

The Sarawak voter reminded us all, “Sabah till today has 3 digit numbers and the total death is 50% of the country’s total of 660 as of 22/1/21.

Sarawak does not want to be the NEW EPI CENTRE and Sarawakians would not want to see their love ones fall like “tenpins”

There is no denying the fact that Government needs a fresh new mandate but for now its Health of Sarawak matters.

(Extracted from an online media portal)

KUCHING (Jan 22): Sarawak State cabinet members plan to appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to lift the emergency order in Sarawak if the Covid-19 situation in the state can be brought to a manageable level.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said this in a WhatsApp message to Bernama after several cabinet members had an ‘informal discussion’ about the matter.

He said if the appeal is favourably considered, it would pave the way for the 12th State Election to be held as the term for the current State Legislative Assembly ends in June.

“It was discussed informally among my colleagues, as a way to have PRN12 Sarawak (12th State election), b4 (before) DUN (Sarawak legislative assembly term) expires in June 2021 after the MMKN (Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri or the State Cabinet) (meeting) on 21.01.21 (Wednesday),” he said in the text message.

The meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here and Masing confirmed that Abang Johari was among those involved in the informal discussion.

“Yes. CM (Chief Minister Abang Johari) was there (in the informal discussion),” said Masing.

The deputy chief minister said the call for a state election would depend on the state’s ability to bring down the number of Covid-19 cases.

He said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had declared an emergency as the country was still battling Covid-19, and it (emergency) would restrict people from moving around.

“But if Sarawak can flatten the (infection) curve or contain Covid-19, we may ask the King to lift the emergency in Sarawak and then we (can) have the election,” he said.

On Jan 12, Al-Sultan Abdullah proclaimed a State of Emergency, to be enforced up to Aug 1, as a proactive measure to contain the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the same day explained that the Cabinet had advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to proclaim a State of Emergency under Clause (1) of Article 150.

Clause (1) of Article 150 states that if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency, making therein a declaration to that effect.

The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 among others stipulated that general elections, state elections and by-elections, as well as Parliament and State Legislative Assembly sittings will not be held as long as the emergency is in force. — Bernama

Orang Luar di Larang Masuk

The Pandemic #Covid19 has reached some areas in Rural Sarawak. The only way to stop the spread is as the Village/Longhouse committee will be to put a stop on outside visitors.

AWAS #COVID19 “Orang Luar di Larang Masuk” is not uncommon during this health crisis.

SOP’s need s to be adhered to and the committee is only doing that so that their community will not be seriously affected.

Continue to #fightagainstcovid19 practice #socialdistancing and #staysafe

(Extracted with thanks from online portal)

As the number of Covid-19 positive cases continue to soar, 12 longhouses in Kanowit have been placed under lockdown for two weeks.

The two week lockdown varies for each longhouse which includes Rumah Benjamin, Jelani, Tibu, Maria Bukong, Roma, Anthony Ikus, Dim, Engkulau, Keterina, Manggie, Samsudin and Ruman Lee Kok Sing.

However, as at Jan 20, it recorded 87 cases, with one death.

Kanowit, Sibu and Selangau are the three districts in the state under two-weeks of MCO from Jan 16 – 29.

During the lockdown, each longhouse is guarded by two Rela members, while the police made regular patrols.

Residents are provided with food and drinks, while those in need of medical supplies can submit their names to the Rela members and the police would send them to Kanowit Hospital.

Police had since closed the two exit points as inter-district travel is prohibited during the MCO period.

The two exit points are at the Majau Bridge and the Durin-Kanowit Bridge.

Covid19 “A Painful Experience”

It’s no laughing matter and there are reasons why the authorities are hell bent on informing the general public of the seriousness if one has the symptoms of #covid19.

We have an extract from a covid19 patient and when she said its “PAINFUL” we sympathize with her.

The experience and write up is one of the many which thousands around the world has suffered.

Let us all do our part and continue to practise #socialdistancing #stayhome and #wearamaskinpublic.

*From an online portal with thanks

WHAT started as a common cold turned out to be the beginning of a Covid-19 nightmare for Ira Junu, a Sarawakian working in Johor.

Ira, who is from Miri, said she felt ill last Wednesday but did not think much of it until she developed a high fever, coupled with dizziness, joint pain, diarrhoea and shortness of breath.

Four days later, she finally decided to go to the Sultan Ismail Hospital where she was swabbed and confirmed positive for the virus on Monday.

“What I went through was very painful, it was not like a normal fever. Prolonged fever, joint pain, cough, loss of sense of taste, dizziness, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.

“It was a piercing pain to the heart, and at that time, only God knows how much pain that Covid-19 (symptomatic) patients go through,” she told Utusan Borneo.

She said she was only instructed to undergo quarantine at home, adding that it was possible that the quarantine centre was full.

The 25-year-old factory worker, who lives alone, suspected that she was infected at work as there had previously been positive cases reported there and there were still colleagues undergoing quarantine.

“It is a really painful experience, and I hope the public and friends out there realise there is a reason why our government is implementing the Movement Control Order. It is for our safety and health.

“However, there are still those who disregard it. Please help the government to curb the Covid-19 spread by following the set SOPs, aside from wearing face masks and frequent hand washing when they leave the house,” Ira pleaded.

During the quarantine, she said she had to take Vitamin C as there was no medicine or vaccine to fight Covid-19 but she believed she was getting better and she prayed to be freed of the virus.

Ira’s affliction came to light when she shared what happened to her on Facebook, and asked for prayers from family, friends and the public for swift recovery.

On Jan 12, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a Bernama report said Covid-19 patients who have mild or no symptoms would undergo treatment and be quarantined at home, but they would be monitored strictly by health workers.

The home quarantine applies to Level 1 and Level 2 Covid-19 patients, which are codes for patients who are tested positive but showed no symptoms, and mild symptoms, respectively.

However, in Sarawak, patients who have tested positive are quarantined in medical facilities as part of the state’s own initiative to prevent the spread of the virus.

Our Deepest Condolences to the Family. “Malaysians Please Ensure Follow SOP’s to make our Frontliners Workload Lightened..”

Our Frontliners in every sector have worked hard for the safety of the lives of all Malaysians to curb the Pandemic #covid19. We can show our appreciation by doing OUR PART in following the SOP’s which has been implemented by the Country’s Adminstration.

We feel saddened by the loss of one of our own “A doctor”overcame by Fatigued who served the country during the trying times of the #covid19.

We extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones and together with all Malaysians we thank you for your unselfish professional work.

In short,”Ribuan Terima Kasih” and you will be treasured by us all.

#stayhome #staysafe #uniteagainstcovid19 #wearamask #socialdistancing

(Extracted from an online portal)

A DOCTOR working as a Health Ministry frontliner has died recently, said Skuad Pengurusan Jenazah Malaysia (SPJM).

The group, sharing the news through SPJM Facebook page late Tuesday night, said Dr Ali Noor Hassan’s death was believed to be caused by extreme fatigue.

In the post, SPJM said Dr Ali fell ill due to the continuous workload and fatigue, apart from having no time to rest.

“He fell asleep while on duty, and fainted,” the post read as reported by the New Straits Times.

It said Dr Ali was also a dakwah service member, and had participated in tabligh group gatherings in Beaufort Sabah.

SPJM said during each large tabligh gathering in Sabah, Dr Ali would fly in from Selangor and volunteer as a medical officer for the participants.

“SPJM has lost yet another committed member for the people, after the death of Kedah SPJM chairman last Friday.

“May Allah accept all his good deeds and forgive his past sins. Our condolences to his family,” it added.

In the post, SPJM also uploaded a picture of Dr Ali, which was taken by a colleague before he fell ill.

Malaysia except Parts of Sarawak under Movement Control Order (MCO) for #covid19

The Health ministry has reported 3,631 Covid-19 cases and 14 deaths in the past 24 hours. This brings the total cases in Malaysia as follows:-

a) 165,371 total cases b) 619 deaths c) 39464 currently warded d) 125,288 recovered

In order to curb the further increase and more areas affected the Government has implemented for a second time the Movement Control Order for Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

(Extracted a report from an online portal )

The entire country, except for Sarawak, will come under the full second movement control order (MCO 2.0).

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the states of Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Perlis will join the MCO 2.0 list from Jan 22.

Kelantan entered MCO 2.0 on Jan 16.

He said this came after the average number of Covid-19 cases in those states continued to increase.

The MCO 2.0 will be for a period of two weeks, with the possibility of an extension.

They join the states of Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan, Malacca, Johor and Sabah which were already under the full MCO 2.0 since Jan 13.

The federal government placed Sarawak under the recovery MCO, but the state government had taken its own initiative to impose more stringent rules.

Sarawak went into a self-imposed conditional MCO on Monday.

Parts of Sarawak including Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit are also under the full MCO.

Vaccinations Not Compulsory for #Covid19

Our earlier article “Better safe than Sorry” https://audie61.wordpress.com/2021/01/16/covid19-better-safe-than-sorry/ and today the Minister in charge says”its not compulsory but for now its voluntary

Full Extracted article below:

PETALING JAYA: The government has no plans to make the Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory, science, technology and innovation minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today, adding it will be a voluntary exercise.

He was responding to concerns raised by some quarters that the government can make it mandatory under emergency laws.

“Our policy remains, that is, for now it is voluntary,” he told FMT.

Khairy had repeatedly stressed that Covid-19 vaccination will not be compulsory in Malaysia. The first batch of vaccines is expected to arrive next month.

On Tuesday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, gave his consent for a nationwide emergency until Aug 1 to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to FMT, lawyer A Srimurugan said the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance provides the power for the King to “issue directions for treatment, immunisation, isolation, observation or surveillance”.

If vaccinations are to be compulsory, a person who fails to get vaccinated could face jail terms of up to two years, be fined, or both.

Section 11(3) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act also allows the government to make it mandatory for people to receive “treatment or immunisation”.

There have been concerns that vaccination can be harmful for those with medical conditions and the elderly.

Norway last week said Covid-19 vaccinations may be too risky for the very old and terminally sick after 23 people who fell under these categories died shortly after receiving the vaccine.

Meanwhile, in Germany, specialists are looking into the deaths of 10 people aged between 79 and 93, all with medical conditions, who died shortly after receiving the vaccine, some within hours.

Covid19 “Better Safe than Sorry”

There is a proverb,” better safe than sorry”

The Whole world just cannot stand still and watch the Pandemic #Covid19 claim lives “like ten pins

The Vaccine will be used and implemented in Malaysia where the first dosages are for the frontline staff of the security and health sectors. and those priority high risks groups.

Many in the Social media domain have their inputs and perception and some are also very skeptical.

The Health Ministry of Malaysia has reminded the Citizens to practise #socialdistancing #wearamask #stayhome #sanitizers #staysafe but they too know that Vaccination is not the FULL CURE.

There will be many different reports on various vaccines from different countries but we know too that unless there is “Vaccine” there is Hope for Humanity to survive this Pandemic #Covid19

We leave the data’s, facts and statistics to those researchers and vaccine developing companies .

We can only tell our fellow Malaysians to continue to follow the #Covid19 SOP.

Do #staysafe everyone. God bless

(Please find an extracted article below for your information)

NORWAY said Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill, the most cautious statement yet from a European health authority as countries assess the real-world side effects of the first shots to gain approval.

Norwegian officials said 23 people had died in the country a short time after receiving their first dose of the vaccine. Of those deaths, 13 have been autopsied, with the results suggesting that common side effects may have contributed to severe reactions in frail, elderly people, according to the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

“For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said. “For those who have a very short remaining life span anyway, the benefit of the vaccine may be marginal or irrelevant.”

The recommendation does not mean younger, healthier people should avoid being vaccinated. But it’s an early indication of what to watch as countries begin to issue safety monitoring reports on the vaccines.

Emer Cooke, the new head of the European Medicines Agency, has said tracking the safety of Covid vaccines, especially those relying on novel technologies such as messenger RNA, would be one of the biggest challenges once shots are rolled out widely.

Pfizer and BioNTech are working with the Norwegian regulator to investigate the deaths in Norway, Pfizer said in an e-mailed statement. The agency found that “the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations,” Pfizer said.

Allergic reactions have been uncommon so far. In the US, authorities reported 21 cases of severe allergic reactions from Dec 14-23 after administration of about 1.9 million initial doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. That’s an incidence of 11.1 cases per million doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though both Covid-19 vaccines approved so far in Europe were tested in tens of thousands of people – including volunteers in their late 80s and 90s – the average trial participant was in his or her early 50s. The first people to be immunised in many places have been older than that as countries rush to inoculate nursing-home residents at high risk from the virus.

Norway has given at least one dose to about 33,000 people, focusing on those considered to be most at risk if they contract the virus, including the elderly. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved late last year has been used most broadly, with a similar shot from Moderna approved earlier this month also now being administered.

Of 29 cases of potential side effects investigated by Norwegian authorities, almost three-quarters were in people age 80 or older, the regulator said in a Jan 14 report.

In France, one frail patient died in a care home two hours after being vaccinated, but authorities said given the patient’s previous medical history there is no indication the death was linked to the vaccine. The French pharmaceutical safety agency on Thursday reported four cases of severe allergic reactions and two incidents of irregular heartbeat after vaccination.

The first Europe-wide safety report on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will probably be published at the end of January, the regulator’s key medicines committee said on Friday. Vaccine makers are required to submit data monthly.

In the UK, which has carried out more immunisations per capita than anywhere else in Europe, authorities will assess safety data and plan to publish details of suspected reactions “on a regular basis,” the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said, without giving a date. – BLOOMBERG

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd