by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
THE Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) will recommend to the Cabinet that COVID-19 vaccine is provided for free to all Malaysians, said minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“The Cabinet has not decided yet, but my recommendation is that once we have purchased the COVID-19 vaccine, they should be given to all Malaysians free of charge,” he told a press conference after the launch of the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), here today.
Apart from China, Khairy said Malaysia was also looking at other vaccine manufacturers that could produce a safe and effective vaccine fast and at a reasonable cost.
“The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) under the Health Ministry requires data from the clinical trials to be shared before the purchase could be approved. That data will tell us whether or not the vaccine is safe and effective,” he said.
Khairy said MOSTI had been assigned by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to negotiate directly with the vaccine manufacturers so that Malaysia could purchase them at the best possible price.
Khairy also expressed concern over equitable access to the vaccine especially for developing countries like Malaysia, saying that big pharmaceutical companies tend to lock in sales for large countries.
“We don’t like seeing countries entering into advance purchase with pharmaceutical companies, monopolising the purchase of vaccine. That’s happening today,” he said.