KUALA LUMPUR: The government has decided to donate 559,200 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Bangladesh and 283,400 doses to Laos to ensure the countries in need have equal access to the Covid-19 vaccine supply.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said as of today, only 20 per cent of Bangladesh’s population and 24 per cent of Laos’ population had been fully vaccinated against the virus.

He said both of the countries will receive their supply today (Dec 6) and Dec 8, respectively.

Khairy also gave assurance that despite the contributions, the country still had sufficient vaccine stock for the adult and adolescent vaccination programmes, as well as booster doses for eligible individuals.

“The Ministry of Health (MOH) hopes the contribution will help the efforts of both governments to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and increase the vaccination rate in their respective countries.

“The Malaysian government, through MOH and Wisma Putra (Foreign Affairs Ministry) will continue to identify and assist countries that have recorded low vaccination rates through the provision of Covid-19 vaccine donations,“ he said in a statement here.

Khairy said Malaysia had previously received a total of 2,913,790 vaccine doses contributed from four countries, namely Japan, the United States of America, China and the United Kingdom.

“The contribution had helped increase the rate of vaccination coverage in the country, and now, Malaysia hopes to do the same to other countries in need,“ he added.