MALAYSIA will pay US$22.6 million (RM94 million) to participate in the Covid-19 vaccine global access facility (Covax), to secure the vaccine when made available, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
“We will join the programme as soon as the country signs the optional purchase arrangement with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi),” he told Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan).
“The Cabinet agreed during last Friday’s meeting that the Health Ministry will finalise the agreement on Malaysia’s participation in the Covax facility with Gavi, and the Attorney-General’s Chambers has been tasked with reviewing the terms and conditions set by Gavi.”
Lim had asked about the cost of participation and Malaysia’s role in the initiative.
Khairy said Malaysia’s participation in the Covax programme is a multi-pronged approach that will open up more (vaccine) options for the country.
He said the Cabinet had, on Oct 14, agreed that Malaysia should join Covax which will guarantee Covid-19 vaccinations for 10% of Malaysians.
He added at the same time, this will reduce the risk of being dependent only on a bilateral acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The upfront payment would guarantee early access to a supply of vaccines to protect Malaysians from the virus and help boost the economy, when vaccination becomes a byword for mobility and global interactions.”
In October, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it would cost Malaysia about RM600 million to source some three million doses of the vaccine under the Covax plan.
In September, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry said the government was preparing an agreement to join the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and a government-to-government agreement with Beijing for access to vaccines set to be developed by pharmaceutical firms in China.