Khairy Jamaluddin blames hoarders for vaccine inequity and slow rollout.
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The coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), Khairy Jamaluddin, says Malaysia can expect more than 10% of its population or 3.2 million people, to be fully vaccinated from Covid-19 by mid-July. At the same time, he lashed out against countries that he claims are hoarding the vaccines.
Khairy admits that supply has always been the constraint in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. It is also the reason why the mega vaccination centres (PPVs) were established relatively late in the programme.
According to the government’s projections, about 10.7 million doses would have been administered by mid-July. Khairy added that the government is aiming for 8 million doses to be administered in June to reach that target.
That is considering that out of roughly every 100 doses administered, 30 are second doses.
As of 22 June, A total of 6,301,727 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered. 4,574,685 or 14% of the population have had their first dose and 1,727,042 or 5.3% of the population have had their are second dose.
The numbers also show that Malaysia is already more than halfway towards reaching the predicted 10% vaccinated rate.
With 10% of the population vaccinated, if the daily new cases of Covid-19 drops below 4,000 and the healthcare system is not in a critical stage, the country would enter phase two of the National Recovery Plan. In this phase, more economic activities will be added to the positive list.
Vaccine hoarding countries
Meanwhile, Khairy also pointed fingers at countries that are hoarding the vaccines as the reason for the global vaccine inequity. He said that European countries and other countries like the US, the UK, and Canada have an edge in getting the supply they need.
He did this in response to criticism of Malaysia’s vaccination rollout that compared the vaccination programme in Malaysia to Hungary.
EU Ambassador to Malaysia Michalis Rokas has since denied that the bloc was hoarding vaccines.
He said all requests from the Malaysian government regarding the distribution of vaccines have been approved without any problems by the EU Secretariat.
Rokas added that all vaccine exports, as per request by Malaysia, were approved within two to three days and also been given due exception because of the pandemic emergency.