COVAX May Be Too Pricey For Malaysia

covax may be too pricey for malaysia

Photo via Chemical Industry Digest

The high price of the COVID-19 vaccine, COVAX has put Malaysia in a dilemma, as we’re not exactly financially stable at the moment.

Another problem is the vaccine has not been approved until now, and nor is it anywhere near getting approval.

“If the vaccine is successful and we don’t put the money forward, we’ll be the last country to get this vaccine. That makes us all wrong, so what should we do?”, Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar, Director of University of Malaya’s Tropical Infectious Disease Research and Education Center (TIDREC) told Astro AWANI.

“Imagine if the price is RM13 per person and only 10 percent of Malaysians can get the vaccine, it will reach almost RM100 million. Do we have that kind of money?”, he added.

However, Dr Sazaly is hopeful that the government will make the right decision taking into account the country's financial situation.

covax may be too pricey for malaysia

Photo via UMNO Online

It’s understood that the government is likely to finalise the selection of the COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021, according to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said data from several clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is in the third phase, is expected to be analysed by the end of this year.

“As for the price, there are some vaccines offered to us for US$5 (RM21), and there are also more than US$20 (RM83). We do not know yet because there are some vaccines that have different doses and we need to study them," he explained.

The government is also studying the move from a legal standpoint, as it has never purchased products that have not been made and yet to be approved before.

Khairy added that Malaysia is in talks to participate in the global COVID-19 (COVAX) vaccine allocation plan by the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI).


by Kyle Roshen Jacob