KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will join the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax) plan to procure supplies for the inoculation against the novel coronavirus when it becomes available.
A statement from the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) said the government was in the midst of negotiating terms with the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI), the alliance that manages the Covax programme.
Covax is coordinated by GAVI; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI); and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mosti said it is also in the midst of negotiating terms to be part of CEPI as well as in the midst of discussing with China to establish a government to government agreement for access to vaccines developed by pharmaceutical companies in the North Asian country.
The statement added that the Health Ministry had also entered into non-disclosure agreements with a few international pharmaceutical companies which are in their third phase of vaccine trials.
This is to allow the government to enter negotiations for supplies of vaccines which could be approved for Covid-19 treatment, it added.
“The approach taken by Malaysia by being a part of Covax, establishing strategic ties with other countries and directly negotiating with pharmaceutical companies will ensure that we are able to get sufficient supplies of the approved vaccine immediately and at a reasonable price,” said Mosti in the statement.
Mosti is also representing the government in negotiating the necessary agreements.
Covax is a platform developed to support the research, development, and manufacturing of a wide range of Covid-19 vaccine.
The collective procurement system aims to provide participating countries fair and equitable access to vaccines by combining the purchasing power of the economies.
It also targets to deliver two billion doses of safe and effective vaccines by the end of 2021, which will be sufficient to protect vulnerable communities and frontliners.
On Friday, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) questioned the government on why Malaysia was not a part of Covax, which 170 countries had signed up for.
This follows Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba’s statement that Malaysia was still “communicating” with the WHO over the Covid-19 vaccine access plan.