by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
MALAYSIA may get access to the COVID-19 vaccine from China, if the Health Ministry (MOH) finds it safe and effective for use, said Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (picture).
He said this was part of the government’s efforts to help develop a vaccine for the virus through scientific and strategic collaborations with countries capable of producing the vaccine.
Explaining further, he said the collaboration team comprising MOSTI, MOH and the Foreign Ministry was formed last April, to explore opportunities between Malaysia and other countries in establishing strategic joint ventures in researching and developing COVID-19 vaccine and medication.
Khairy said this was to enable Malaysia to gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine when it is produced, as the country currently does not have the facilities to make the vaccine for humans.
“Malaysia is also talking to China about the vaccine development by companies and institutions from the republic. China now has several companies and institutions which are more advanced in the field.
“I am scheduled to hold a video conference tomorrow evening with my counterpart in China on the matter including the possibility of Malaysia to gain access to the vaccine from China, if the MOH finds it is suitable, safe and effective to use,” he said during Dewan Rakyat question-and-answer session, today.
He was responding to a question from Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN-Parit) on MOSTI’s role in helping with the COVID-19 vaccine development effort at international level, since Malaysia did not have the facility.
Khairy said MOSTI had taken the initiative to be involved in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the participation as a coalition member has enabled the country to gain access to vaccine development, technology transfer and new expertise, for local researchers.
“CEPI is also committed to fair and open vaccine distribution at reasonable cost for the whole world,” he said.