The government has struck another vaccine deal, and are in final negotiations with three more pharmaceutical companies.
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In a special video address to the nation today (22 December), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin informed the community of Malaysia’s updated Covid-19 vaccine plan.
He also stated that he is volunteering himself to be among the first to receive the jab as proof that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Deals signed with more pharmaceutical companies for Covid-19 vaccines
In the address, Muhyiddin revealed that an agreement had been signed between Malaysia and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to obtain another 6.4 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine that would immunise 10% of the population.
This happens to be the third agreement signed by the government for Covid-19 vaccines, after Malaysia obtained an early deal with COVAX and Pfizer last month.
He shared that the government is also in the final negotiations with pharmaceutical companies Sinovac, CanSino, and Gamaleya for more Covid-19 vaccines.
Total population to be vaccinated changed from 70% to 80%
With deals being struck between the government and more pharmaceutical companies, there will also be an increase in the total population to be vaccinated.
Muhyiddin said that the government’s COVAX, Pfizer and AstraZeneca deals are expected to vaccinate 40% of the Malaysian population, while deals with Sinovac, CanSino, and Gamaleya will vaccinate the other 40% of the population.
In total, as many as 26.5 million Malaysians (about 80% of the population) will receive Covid-19 vaccines. This is an increase to the initial target of vaccinating 70% of the population.
He also revealed that the government plans to continue negotiations with other pharmaceutical companies to ensure the country has adequate access to a supply of Covid -19 vaccines for free.
Through these negotiations, the government will spend a total of RM2.05 billion on Covid-19 vaccines
Muhyiddin said the government will ensure that these vaccines are safe and effective before being rolled out to the community.
In an effort to ensure that the people are confident in receiving the vaccine, Muhyiddin has volunteered to be the first person to get the jab.
To convince the people that the vaccines obtained are safe and effective, I will be among the first individuals to receive the injection.Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia
This will be followed by frontliners, before being given to targeted groups identified as high-risk, such as senior citizens, those with non-communicable diseases (NCD) and those with chronic illnesses.
Muhyiddin continued to say that the first batch of 1 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer is expected to arrive on our shores as soon as February 2021.
According to Berita Harian, Pfizer has promised to deliver the second batch of 1.7 million doses in the second quarter of next year, followed by 5.8 million doses in the third quarter, and 4.3 million doses in the fourth quarter.
Watch Muhyiddin’s address in full in the video below:
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