Pfizer’s supply chain disruption has no effect on Malaysia

The govt is ready with a series of vaccine portfolios from several companies to choose from, says Khairy

pic by BERNAMA

THE supply chain disruption of American-based Pfizer Inc will not affect the distribution of its Covid-19 vaccine for Malaysia, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (picture).

The minister assured that the timeline for Malaysia to receive the vaccine remains the same despite reported supply chain problems faced by the pharmaceutical company.

“The government is aware of the distribution issues, but we have also been informed that the problem will only affect Pfizer’s supplies in 2020 and not on the vaccine supply for Malaysia next year,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was responding to Fahmi Fadzil (Pakatan Harapan-Lembah Pantai) who asked whether the Pfizer’s supply chain issues reported by Reuters recently will affect the vaccine distribution to Malaysia.

The company is slashing its production target this year due to the challenges in its supply chain for raw materials used in the Covid-19 vaccine production, according to Reuters.

Should there be any interruption in the supply chain of Pfizer vaccine, Khairy said the government has a series of vaccine portfolios from several companies to choose from as well.

Previously, he said the government had been asking pharmaceutical companies from the US, China, Russia and several European countries that are producing coronavirus vaccines for their products’ portfolios.

At present, the government has entered into two separate agreements with Covid-19 vaccine global access (Covax) facility and Pfizer, which will supply the Covid vaccine for 30% of Malaysia’s population.

“The first agreement is with the Covax facility through the Optional Purchase Arrangement signed on Nov 23, 2020. It guarantees the vaccines supply sufficient for 10% of the country’s population.

“The second agreement is the initial purchase agreement with Pfizer to obtain supply for 20% of the population at 12.8 million doses,” he said.

Allocation for the ministry for next year was passed without objection from the Opposition, signalling support on Malaysia’s effort to combat the coronavirus.

Lawmakers also approved the ministerial expenditure for Transport Ministry (MoT) and Works Ministry involving RM6.05 billion and RM7.35 billion respectively.

Works Ministry’s expenditure was approved through a simple voice vote, while MoT received the approval in a bloc vote of 109 to 94 with 17 absentees.

MoT’s expenditure comprises 1.88% of the total budget, of which RM4.17 billion will be utilised for development and RM1.88 billion for operation.

In its spending estimation, the MoT said about RM3.21 billion will be allocated for railway projects, including the rolling stock acquisition by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd and feasibility study on Serendah-Port Klang Rail Bypass.

Among others are the RM300 million to expand the My30 travel pass to Penang and Kuantan, Pahang, in addition to the RM5 unlimited monthly travel passes for students and the disabled.

Dewan Rakyat will resume today to debate and approve ministerial expenditures for Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, Federal Territories Ministry, and Environment and Water Ministry.

Read our earlier report

Health Ministry to monitor vaccine supply issues : DG