KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) are finalising the date to sign the Optional Purchase Arrangement agreement to participate in the COVID-19 vaccine global access (COVAX) vaccine allocation plan.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the cabinet, had on Oct 14, agreed for Malaysia to join the COVAX facility which would guarantee vaccine supply for 10 per cent of the country’s population.
He said the cabinet also agreed that the MOH would represent the government to finalise Malaysia’s agreement for participation in COVAX, together with GAVI, and the Attorney General’s Chambers to review the terms and conditions of the agreement set by GAVI.
“The decision for Malaysia to join this facility will involve costs that include upfront payment and a risk sharing guarantee of US $ 22,656,200.00 or approximately RM94.08 million,” he said during the Ministers’ Question Time (MQT) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to a question by Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) who wanted to know whether Malaysia’s participation in the COVAX initiative,which allows 20 percent of a nation’s population to receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the cost of involved.
Khairy said the guarantee of early access to the COVID-19 vaccine supply was important to protect the people from the virus, as well as to help boost the country’s economy, when the vaccination is made a condition for movement and communication globally.
Malaysia’s participation in the COVAX facility is a multi-pronged approach that will open up room for the country to diversify its options and reduce the risk of focusing on bilateral methods only in the acquisition of the COVID-19 vaccine.