by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by AFP
THE government has sealed a deal with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Plc to acquire 6.4 million dosages of a guaranteed Covid-19 vaccine supply for 10% of the population.
This will bring a total coverage to 40% including previous agreements with the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (Covax) and Pfizer Inc.
Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also said Malaysia is in the final stage of negotiations with other suppliers namely Sinovac Biotech Ltd, CanSino Biologics Inc and Gamaleya Institute to get guaranteed vaccine supply for over 80% of the country’s population or 26.5 million people.
He said the government is expected to spend US$504.4 million (RM2.05 billion) in vaccine supply to achieve 80% coverage, exceeding the initial target of 70%.
“The agreements with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya would give added value to local science and technology sectors that would give returns to the people and national development. These include vaccine bottling in the country, education and development, knowledge sharing and technology transfer,” Muhyiddin said in a virtual address today.
He said the government will continue to make deals with other pharmaceutical companies to ensure the country gets enough access to vaccines.
The PM also said he will be among the first individuals in the country to take the vaccine injection to convince the people about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.
He said front liners will follow next and then high-risk groups such as senior citizens, patients with noncommunicable diseases and chronic respiratory diseases.
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