KLUANG (Bernama): The government will be concluding an agreement with the United Kingdom's AstraZeneca on Monday (Dec 21) to buy Covid-19 vaccines to meet the immunisation needs of 20% of the people in Malaysia.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) said this is the third agreement after the government signed with Covax to buy 10% of its vaccine needs and with Pfizer to cover 20% of Malaysia’s requirements last month.
"Overall, we will be purchasing vaccines for 50% of the people. We will try to get all the vaccine supplies in the first quarter of next year, ” he said after a symbolic handing over of an Aerosol Intubation Box contribution by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to the Health Ministry in Simpang Renggam near here Saturday (Dec 19).
Also present was UTM deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovation) Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail.
Dr Adham said at the same time, the government has to increase procurement for another 20% of the vaccine to meet the needs of 70% of the population.
He said the government would look into attracting vaccine suppliers to meet the need of the country.
"What is important is that companies who give quick access to their vaccines must ensure they are safe, and of quality. It must also receive approval from the producing country as well as approval from the Health Ministry's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
"If it is concluded, we can vaccinate the first Malaysians comprising frontliners in early 2021, ” he said.
The media reported Saturday that the first batch of vaccines would be arriving in February 2021 with supplies continuing until the end of 2021.
On Nov 24, Malaysia announced that it would acquire its initial supply for 12.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer to meet 20% of its immunisation needs or 6.4 million people for free. - Bernama