Govt to pay RM94 mil upfront to take part in Covax initiative, says Khairy

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government will pay RM94 million (US$22.6 million) upfront to take part in the Covax initiative, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

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Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Cabinet had agreed on Oct 14 to take part in the initiative, which is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This will guarantee vaccine supply for 10% of Malaysians,” he said.

Khairy (BN-Rembau) said the Cabinet had agreed to allow the health ministry to represent Putrajaya to make any final decision Gavi, the international organisation co-leading Covax.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers, meanwhile, had been given the task to check the terms and conditions of an agreement with Gavi.

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“After the checking process, the Cabinet decided on Nov 13 to sign an agreement with Gavi,” he said.

The ministry and Gavi, he said, were now discussing the date to sign the Optional Purchase Arrangement.

Khairy was replying to a question from Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan), who asked the cost of participation and Malaysia’s role in the initiative.

He said the upfront payment would guarantee early access to a supply of Covid-19 vaccines to protect Malaysians from the spread of virus and help boost the economy.

In October, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said it would cost Malaysia about RM600 million to source some three million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines under the Covax plan. – FMT

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