PUTRAJAYA, April 27 — An additional RM2 billion to RM5 billion allocation for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme is needed after various factors were considered, including increased costs to procure the COVID-19 vaccine and the costs to administer the programme, said programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the RM5 billion allocation covered RM3.5 billion for vaccine procurement and logistics, RM333 million (rental and utilities), RM260 million (disposable equipment, and vaccination implementation) and RM100 for sanitisation and cleaning.
The allocation also includes gifts for non-health volunteers worth RM200 million, data integration costs and appointment system (RM70 million), Community Outreach and Vaccination Advocacy Programme (RM55 million), health volunteers’ gifts (RM147 million), post-immunisation surveillance and system upgrade (RM15 million), outsourced private medical practitioners (RM210 million) and unexpected contingencies (RM110 million).
He said at Dec 23 last year, the government managed to secure access to vaccines for 82.8 per cent of the country’s population from various suppliers with a total cost of RM2.05 billion.
“Taking into consideration the risk of supply disruption such as export bans, raw materials, manufacturers’ capacity and regulatory approvals, the total of 82.8 per cent is increased to 110 per cent and was announced in the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme guidebook where the vaccine procurement costs for 110 per cent of the population is RM3.16 billion,” he said in a statement today.
Khairy said following the announcement from several vaccine suppliers that clinical tests are being conducted for youths, the government had made an early decision to add more vaccine supply to be given to youths when approval is secured.
He said the government has taken steps to procure additional supplies as buffer stocks if additional booster doses are required.
“Therefore, although at this time the procurement costs are estimated to be RM3.16 billion, it depends on the additional supply while taking into consideration provision of the vaccine for youths and buffer stocks to reach a ceiling of RM3.5 billion set by the Finance Ministry.
“The estimated vaccine procurement is also not final. For example, the government’s agreement with suppliers such as Gamaleya (Sputnik V) and CanSino have yet to be implemented as the vaccines are still being evaluated by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and have not been registered,” he said.
He added that if the vaccines did not get approval or took too long, the government had the option of not going through with the agreements without any financial implications.
Khairy said he and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, as co-chairmen of the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee, have tabled the COVID-19 vaccine procurement plan and the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme implementation to the Public Accounts Committee on Jan 5.
During the PAC proceedings, the COVID-19 vaccine procurement agreements were tabled to PAC members and following the proceedings, PAC was satisfied with the explanations given by the committee, he said.
“I suggested sharing the additional procurement agreements made since January with PAC when it is allowed at a later date,” he said.
Regarding the remaining allocations, Khairy said it would be used for the vaccination programme implementation where it will be channeled to all state governments.
It will cover rental and utility costs for over 600 public vaccination centres in non Health Ministry facilities (public halls, stadiums, public areas), disposable equipment, cleaning and sanitisation, gifts for volunteers and outsourced private medical practitioners.