KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — The government has just signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the procurement of an additional 10 per cent or 6.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced.
He said this meant that the government had secured 40 per cent guarantee of vaccine supply through joint agreements with COVAX, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The government has previously signed preliminary agreements with Covax and Pfizer for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine to secure a vaccine supply of 30 per cent of the population.
“The government is also in final negotiations with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya to secure a vaccine supply increase of more than 80 per cent or 26.5 million of the country’s total population,” he said in a video on the recent development of COVID-19 vaccine for Malaysians today.
The 80 per cent supply exceeds the government’s initial target to provide vaccines to 70 per cent of Malaysians.
The Prime Minister said through all the negotiations and agreements that have been and will be signed, the government will spend a total of US$504.4 million (RM2.05 billion).
Elaborating, Muhyiddin said the agreements with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya would also provide added value to the local science and technology sectors which would benefit the people and the country’s development.
“This includes carrying out vaccine bottling processes in the country, research and development, as well as knowledge sharing and technology transfer,” he said.
The government, in the meantime, will continue to hold talks with other pharmaceutical companies to ensure the country has adequate access to free vaccine supply.
He added that the vaccines obtained will be ensured to be safe and effective.
The Prime Minister explained that the government is aware that efforts to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading further are important to ensure that the economic situation of the people and the country can be improved as soon as possible.