KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Malaysia is expected to receive Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of February, Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
The prime minister said the government has already signed preliminary purchasing agreements with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and the global COVAX Facility to secure Covid-19 vaccines for 40 per cent of the population.
He added that Putrajaya was also in final negotiations with Chinese pharmaceutical companies Sinovac and CanSino, as well as Russia’s Gamaleya Institute for their shots, so as to cover more than 80 per cent of the population, or 26.5 million people.
“As early preparation to ensure the smooth distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to the people of this country when supplies are obtained, MOH (Ministry of Health) has developed a National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Plan,” Muhyiddin told a national broadcast.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin previously said the government plans to give the first one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine next month or early March to 500,000 frontliners, comprising 300,000 health care workers and 200,000 frontliners from the police, army, and social care sector.
The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has already approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Muhyiddin added that Phase 3 clinical trials of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine by the Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China (IMBCAMS) would begin on January 21 in nine MOH hospitals.
This study in Malaysia, the first country outside China for Phase 3 trials on IMBCAMS’ inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, is expected to recruit 3,000 participants.