KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Vaccination is a human right that must be respected, protected, and fulfilled, thus universal access to an affordable, accessible and equitable vaccine is crucial, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He said international cooperation is extremely crucial at this juncture to ensure effective coordination and follow up on efforts of the United Nations system to promote and ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19.
He said in the same spirit, Malaysia has joined the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, and is collaborating with countries around the world to ensure that vaccines must be made a global public good.
“The world is anxiously waiting for the development of a safe and effective vaccine to stem COVID-19, and some countries have also begun their national roll-out plans or are taking part in Phase Three Clinical Trials.
“While these are positive developments, there is a high risk that global competition will increase the prices of vaccines and other medical treatment which will affect our efforts for global immunity,” he said in his opening speech at the 2020 International Human Rights Day Virtual Forum, in conjunction with the World Human Rights Day today.