Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be one of the first Malaysians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, once the first batch arrives in Malaysia.
Photo via The Star
This move is to assure the people of Malaysia of its safety, he said.
The PM announced this in a televised message, saying that the frontliners would be the next group to get the jab.
“After the frontliners, the vaccine will be given to the target groups comprising high risk groups including senior citizens, those with noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and chronic respiratory illnesses,” he said.
The government has also just signed an agreement with AstraZeneca, a research-based biopharmaceutical company to secure 6.4 million doses or 10% more vaccines.
He added: “This means a guarantee to 40% supply of vaccines have been secured via the agreements with the Covax Facility, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.”
“The government is also in the final stage of negotiation with Sinovac, CanSino, and Gamaleya to secure vaccine supply increase of more than 80% of the country’s population or 26.5 million.”
The 80% has surpassed the earlier target of 70% (population) to get vaccines. Based on all completed and ongoing negotiations, the government will fork out US$504.4 million or RM2.05 billion.
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The prime minister also added that the agreements with Sinovac, CanSino, and Gamaleya would add value to the country’s science and technology sector that would benefit the people and the country’s development.
This includes the vaccine bottling process in Malaysia, research and development as well as knowledge sharing and technology transfer.
He added that the government will continue to negotiate with other pharmaceutical companies to ensure Malaysia would have enough supply of vaccines, “We will make certain that the acquired vaccines are safe and effective.”
The Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee, co-chaired by the Health Minister and the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister would ensure the vaccines could be acquired fast.
Photo via The Edge Markets
He said that the government is expected to get and administer the first supply of one million vaccines from Pfizer to the target groups as early as February 2021.
The prime minister also calls on the importance of embracing and culturalising the new normal in our daily lives, even after one had been vaccinated.
“We must adapt to the new normal because the virus is already in the community,” he said.
You can read the Prime Minister's full statement here!
It will take some time for the COVID-19 vaccine to be available for all of us, so, in the meantime, we should always follow the SOPs!
Remember to wear a face mask and maintain physical distancing. We’re all in this together, guys!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat