Private sector may be allowed to buy vaccine after herd immunity achieved, says deputy minister | Malaysia

A dose of the Pfizer-BioTech Covid-19 vaccine is pictured at the UiTM Hospital in Sungai Buloh March 2, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara.

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KUALA TERENGGANU, March 6 — The limited global supply of Covid-19 vaccines has made it necessary for the government to monopolise vaccine purchase to ensure the success of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, said Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim.

He said although there were requests from the private sector to buy the vaccine through the government, the priority now is for the government to get adequate supply speedily to achieve the target of vaccinating 80 per cent or 26.5 million of the population including foreigners for free.

“We do get the private sector involved in this (immunisation) programme but as implementers in giving free vaccine. They (private sector) are not the one who bought the vaccine.

“This matter is on our radar; for example there may be (private) agencies wishing to go overseas on business which face a delay in waiting their turn for vaccine but we haven’t got a policy (to allow vaccine purchase by private sector),” he told reporters after launching the TD1303 x Jazro Robotic Academy here today.

He said this when asked to comment on reports that the private sector was keen to buy Covid-19 vaccines with the help of the government, currently the only channel to get vaccine supply from manufacturers.

Ahmad Amzad said as of yesterday, more than two million Malaysians have registered for the vaccination, and of this 112,000 were frontliners who had received their jabs.

He advised the people not to worry about getting any brand of vaccines approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), which is very thorough on matters of quality and safety of vaccines.

“So far 279 million doses of vaccine have been administered to individuals in 107 countries. On average six million people were given vaccine jabs daily and the rate of side effects was low,” he added. — Bernama

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