LPPKN Clinics Have Run Out Of Free HPV Vaccines. When Will New Stocks Arrive?
Some of those who've signed up for the free HPV vaccination programme months ago have yet to receive their doses.
For months now, several Klinik Nur Sejahtera branches across the country seem to be experiencing a shortage of HPV vaccines following the overwhelming response for their free HPV vaccination programme
Earlier this year, the National Population and Family Board (LPPKN) announced that unmarried women who are born from 1990 to 1996 (21 to 27 years of age) are eligible to get free HPV vaccination in any Klinik Nur Sejahtera nationwide, as long as they are Malaysian citizens or permanent residents of Malaysia.
While there was no quota stipulated in the initial announcement in February, LPPKN later posted an update on its official website in March, stating that the free HPV vaccines are only limited to the first 30,000 women across Malaysia based on a 'first come first serve' basis.
In a post last updated on 7 June, only 27 clinics in the country are still accepting registrations for the free programme.
The ongoing shortage of HPV vaccines are affecting those who have registered and even received their first dose, as some have yet to receive their second shot (to be administered at least one month after the first)
In an e-mail to SAYS, Chia - who'd received her first dose on 6 March along with her sister - said that she received a phone call from LPPKN Universiti Malaya on the first week of April notifying them that their second dose has been delayed to May as the vaccine is out of stock and their supplier did not send a new batch of vaccines on time.
"They urged us to give them a call again on the first week of May to check on the availability of the vaccine. So I called them on the second day of May to confirm our appointment for our second dose. They told me the same thing again and asked me to call again in June. So I did, and now they're telling me to call back in July," she wrote, adding that the staff even advised her to consider going to LPPKN clinics in rural areas as they might still have ready stock.
LPPKN UM is not the only clinic to have run out of HPV vaccines. In a Facebook post published on 2 May, LPPKN Perlis said that the stock they were expecting to arrive in early May have been delayed to early July instead.
Others who are facing a similar problem have also taken to Facebook to express their dissatisfaction, with some saying that the clinics have stopped answering calls since stocks were depleted as early as late February
It is worth noting that the 2017 Budget, presented by PM Najib Razak in October last year, allocated RM25 billion for the implementation of healthcare programmes and projects
Out of the RM25 billion, RM4 billion was allocated for supply of drugs, consumables, vaccines, and reagents to all Government hospitals and health facilities, while another RM4.5 billion has been allocated to aid operations in 340 1Malaysia clinics, 11 1Malaysia Mobile Clinics, 959 health clinics, and 1,800 existing rural clinics.
Ladies, did you manage to register for the free HPV vaccination programme? Let us know how your experience went in the comments section below.