GEORGE TOWN, April 1 — The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Health Ministry will meet next week to decide on the policy and framework for private hospitals to purchase vaccines directly from suppliers.

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia had written a request  and permission would be given to private hospitals to negotiate with suppliers to purchase COVID-19  vaccines.

“As the immunisation programme coordinating minister, I am aware that the current vaccine market is very limited and if they (private hospitals) do manage to procure them, the vaccines could only be delivered at year end or next year,” he told reporters after visiting the vaccine centre at Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang, here,  today.

He said the permission would also be given to any state government interested to negotiate directly with suppliers for the procurement of the vaccines.

“Believe me … they will not be able to get the vaccines until the end of this year or early next year. This is because the approved vaccines such as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are only sold to federal governments, delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines only starts in June while Sinovac’s vaccines will be  manufactured in Malaysia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the ministry, MOH and the Vaccine Access Assurance Committee were looking into providing facilities for those who have received two vaccine doses.

On the number who have registered for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, he said it  has surpassed 7.5 million which is 30 per cent of the national target.

“We are seeing quite a steady increase and I am confident when we start phase 2 on April 19, more people will register,” he said.


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