Mosti to hold talks with Saudi on vaccine recognition for Haj pilgrims

Muslim pilgrims wearing face masks and keeping social distance pray facing Kaaba during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 31, 2020. — Reuters pic
Muslim pilgrims wearing face masks and keeping social distance pray facing Kaaba during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 31, 2020. — Reuters pic

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KOTA BHARU, July 11 — The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) will hold talks with the Saudi Arabia government on the Covid-19 vaccine recognition for haj pilgrims.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said all the Covid-19 vaccines obtained by the Malaysian government were recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 It is our hope that the Saudi Arabian government would accept all pilgrims that had been vaccinated with vaccines that are recognised by WHO.

 “On discrepancies in the vaccine recognition, the matter will be discussed by Mosti with the Saudi Arabian government,” he said when met by reporters after attending a donation presentation programme by then Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) in Kampung Sering, here today.

Prior to this, it was reported that the Saudi Arabian government would only accept pilgrims who received either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines for the Haj pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin recently said there should be a consensus  among countries in determining immigration policy on the recognition of vaccines as some countries only allow certain vaccine recipients to enter their countries.

He said this was to avoid confusion over the issue of vaccine recognition like in Saudi Arabia, the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). — Bernama

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