Delay in vaccines due to cost, says Khairy

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PUTRAJAYA: Khairy Jamaluddin has defended the delay in Malaysia’s procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines, after Singapore became the first country in Asia to receive delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Monday.

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Malaysia’s first batch of doses are expected to arrive by next February, with Khairy, the science, technology and innovation minister, saying the delay was down to cost.

“Singapore signed (a purchase agreement) a few months before us because their financial ability is much bigger – let’s put it that way,” he told a press conference here.

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“We took our time to get the best deal possible. If it’s a two-month variant, I think it’s reasonable.”

Earlier, in a tweet, Khairy said he was ready to meet the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to provide information on the vaccine procurement.

Responding to various Twitter users, one of whom questioned how the government could vaccinate 82.8% of the population for RM2.05 billion, Khairy said he was willing to explain the exact costs to PAC if its members consent to signing a non-disclosure agreement, as per the terms of the government’s agreement with Pfizer.

-FMT

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