KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Malaysia will be receiving 600,000 doses of the government’s directly procured AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in June, Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
Khairy, during the launch of the “Corporate Collaboration for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme” this afternoon, said the 600,000 AstraZeneca-Oxford doses will be manufactured in Thailand.
“So, I have confirmation that delivery of AstraZeneca, from AstraZeneca, as opposed to from COVAX — this is from direct procurement — will commence in June where we will receive our first 600,000 doses from AstraZeneca in June and delivery will come subsequently every month,” Khairy said.
Malaysia will be receiving 12.8 million doses of the two-dose AstraZeneca vaccine: 6.4 million doses from direct procurement that are manufactured in Thailand and an additional 6.4 million doses through the global COVAX facility that is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Malaysia’s supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme is manufactured by SK Biosciences in South Korea.
South Korea, however, reported that they are expecting a delay of their own supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX that is produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), due to a vaccine export ban imposed by the Indian government.
Khairy, in response to that, said that this will not affect Malaysia’s AstraZeneca vaccine supply from SK Biosciences.
“Our AstraZeneca supply from COVAX facility comes from manufacturers in Korea, which is SK Biosciences, and it doesn’t come from the Serum Institute of India.
“So, while we are still waiting for the delivery details from COVAX for AstraZeneca to Malaysia, I don’t believe that the ban from India will affect us because our vaccines are from SK Bioscience, unless it’s something to do with our supply chain,” the science, technology, and innovation minister said.
The Guardian reported last Friday that production delays at South Korea’s vaccine manufacturing plant would result in smaller AstraZeneca vaccine shipments than planned for COVAX in March.
Previously, during an exclusive interview with CodeBlue, Khairy revealed that Malaysia will be expecting 1.38 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX to be delivered in the second quarter.