SEPANG, Aug 3 — Malaysia today received 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine contributed by the United Kingdom (UK), which will further boost the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
The consignment was flown in via Emirates Airlines EK 346 which landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here at 2.20 pm.
On hand to receive the vaccines were PICK Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay.
The vaccine supply is the fourth contribution from foreign countries to Malaysia. Prior to this, Japan had donated 998,400 doses of AstraZeneca, the United States contributed 1,000,350 doses of Pfizer and China gave 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
Expressing appreciation for the UK’s contribution in a joint press conference with Hay, Khairy said: “This contribution will ramp up vaccination in Malaysia. We currently have the highest vaccination rate daily per capita in the world which exceeds other countries’.”
He said about 62 per cent of the adult population in the country had received a single dose while 31 per cent had been fully vaccinated.
Khairy said the AstraZeneca vaccines received today were meant for first-dose recipients and would be delivered to the states.
“We are also scheduled to receive another batch of some 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine at the end of the month for second-dose use,” he said.
Quoting the Malay proverbs ‘bagaikan aur dengan tebing; berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dijinjing’, Hay said the UK and Malaysia enjoy the best of relations, and expressed the hope that this vaccine contribution will boost the vaccination rate in Malaysia and help protect more people from COVID-19.