KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — The Malaysian government today decided to contribute more than 840,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh and Laos combined, amid the global spread of the Omicron variant.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia will send 559,200 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Bangladesh and 283,400 doses of the same vaccine to Laos on December 6 and 8 respectively.
As of today, only 20 per cent of Bangladesh’s population and 42 per cent of Laos’ population have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
In contrast, about 78 per cent of Malaysia’s total population have completed Covid-19 vaccination as of yesterday. About 12 per cent of adults in Malaysia have received additional coronavirus vaccine shots, including boosters, as of December 3.
“The MOH (Ministry of Health) wishes to guarantee to the entire Malaysian Family that despite these contributions, the country still has sufficient vaccine stock for the adult and adolescent vaccination programmes, as well as booster doses for eligible individuals,” Khairy said in a statement.
Khairy reiterated Malaysia’s stand at the recent World Health Organization Western Pacific’s regional meeting in Japan.
“Malaysia feels vaccine inequity has been one of the greatest moral failings in humanity’s collective response to the pandemic. Malaysia calls for the inequity to be addressed immediately with more equitable distribution and dose delivery swapping in which Malaysia is willing to participate.”
Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand have reported cases of the Omicron variant of concern that is feared to be more transmissible than the Delta variant and has spread to nearly 50 countries across the world. Thailand today detected its first case in an American man who arrived in Thailand on November 29 from Spain.
Singapore today reported its third imported Omicron case, who had taken the same flight from South Africa and arrived in Singapore on December 1 as two previous imported infections of the new variant.
Malaysia reported its first Omicron infection in a 19-year-old foreign student who arrived in Malaysia on November 19 from South Africa.