KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — The government will participate in the global Covid-19 vaccine development platform Covax, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
Khairy said it had been agreed during a Cabinet meeting on November 13 that Malaysia through the Health Ministry (MoH) will finalise its participation in the Covax facility.
“The Cabinet agreed on November 13 that Malaysia through MoH will finalise its participation in the Covax facility by signing an optional purchase agreement.
“For now, MoH and Gavi (Global Alliance Vaccination and Immunisation) are finalising a date to sign the agreement,” Khairy told the Dewan Rakyat today during Ministers’ Question Time.
Khairy said participation in the facility will cost Malaysia US$22,656,200, or approximately RM94.08 million, in the form of an upfront payment and risk sharing guarantee.
According to Khairy, the Cabinet had on October 14 agreed that Malaysia should join Covax which will guarantee Covid-19 vaccinations for 10 per cent of Malaysians.
“The Cabinet also agreed that the MoH, representing Malaysia, will finalise the agreement on Malaysia’s participation in the Covax facility with Gavi, and the Attorney General’s Chambers has been tasked with reviewing the terms and conditions set by Gavi.
“The guarantee for early access to the Covid-19 vaccine is important as it will protect Malaysians from Covid-19 and help boost the economy when ‘vaccination’ becomes a byword for mobility and global interactions,” he said.
He added that Malaysia’s participation in the multilateral Covax facility is a multi-pronged approach that will open up more (vaccine) options for the country and reduce the risk of being only dependent on a bilateral acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine.
In September, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) said the government was also preparing an agreement to join the Coalition for Epidemic and Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) as well as government-to-government agreements with Beijing for access to vaccines set to be developed by pharmaceutical firms in China.