Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister (MOSTI), Khairy Jamaluddin has said that the government will finalise the National Vaccination Plan by this Thursday.
According to Khairy, the plan will be discussed in the upcoming Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee Meeting, which is to be chaired jointly by him and the Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. “We aim to launch the implementation plan when we have acquired supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.
The National Vaccination Plan, which is slated to begin in February, contains details on how Covid-19 vaccinations will implemented nationwide. It also covers specifics on the preparations that must be done before Malaysia receives the vaccines that it has purchased thus far, such as deciding on the hospitals that can be registered to have access to the vaccine, as well as the transportation and storage of the vaccine.
For context, Malaysia has been liaising with several pharmaceutical companies and facilities over the past few months to ensure that it has enough vaccines to cover more than 80% of its population. For instance, the government has inked an agreement with the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax) facility to meet the country’s immunisation needs. Briefly, Covax is an alliance of countries that is pooling their resources together to ensure fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines globally.
On top of that, Malaysia has signed a deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for 12.8 million doses of the vaccine, as well as with AstraZeneca for 6.4 million doses. It is also in final negotiations with China’s Sinovac and CanSino, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute to secure additional vaccine supply. Additionally, the nation is in talks with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
These Covid-19 vaccine will be provided for free to Malaysians, whereas foreigners are required to pay a fee as determined by the Ministry of Health. The government has also clarified that there are currently no plans to make the vaccination compulsory, and that these vaccines will be only be administered on adults as clinical trials have yet to be carried out on children.
(Source: The Edge Markets)