Different needles are used to draw and inject COVID-19 vaccines, the Health Ministry (MoH) said today after conspiracy theories emerged over the two used for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s vaccination.
The ministry explained that a large bore needle is used to draw the vaccine from the vials, which hold several doses, but the same needle would cause unnecessary pain if used on the patient.
A second, smaller needle is instead used to administer the vaccine to minimise discomfort, as was seen in the case of Muhyiddin’s public vaccination yesterday.
“The different colour needle means different bore size. The needle used to aspirate from the vial is bigger in size (blue) to ensure smooth extraction. Smaller bore size needles (red or orange) are for inoculation to ensure less pain and bruising,” the MoH explained.
“In addition, different needles are required to prevent cross-contamination between patients.
“Importantly, the vaccine drawn from the vial and given to the patient is unchanged.”
Yesterday, Muhyiddin received his Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine publicly, in an exercise to help foster confidence in the safety of the vaccine and allay concerns.
However, some viewers noted the different needles used in the exercise and developed conspiracy theories that the vaccine was switched; they claimed this to be evidence that the vaccines were part of a supposed conspiracy.
Malaysia, as with many other countries, has had to address various conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines.
Some centre on doubts about the safety of the new mRNA technology used to develop some of the vaccines while others are more outlandish, such as purporting that the vaccines contain some “microchip” that would be implanted during vaccination.
While they are incredible, the persistence of such conspiracy theories has forced government leaders such as Innovation, Science, and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to directly respond to the claims.
The COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme kicked off yesterday and aims to vaccinate at least 80 per cent of the country before the end of 2022.