Malaysia Is Joining Covax, To Pay RM94 Million Upfront

Malaysia will be joining the global Covid-19 vaccine development platform, Covax Facility, as soon as the country signs the Optional Purchase Arrangement with the Global Alliance Vaccination and Immunisation (Gavi).

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government made the decision to join the facility last Friday (Nov 13) and that it will be paying about RM94 million (USD22.6 million) upfront to take part in the Covax initiative.

The Cabinet decided on Nov 13 for Malaysia, through the Health Ministry, to finalise our participation in the Covax Facility by signing the Optional Purchase Arrangement.

“Currently, the Health Ministry and Gavi are finalising the date for the signing (ceremony).”

“Malaysia’s decision to join this facility will involve an upfront payment and risk-sharing guarantee of USD22,656,200 or about RM94.08 million,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today during the Ministers’ Question Time.

Khairy was responding to a question by Lim Guan Eng (Pakatan Harapan-Bagan) who asked about the cost of participation and Malaysia’s role in the initiative.

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

The Cabinet also agreed that the Health Ministry, representing Malaysia, will finalise the agreement on Malaysia’s participation in the Covax facility with Gavi, and the Attorney-General’s Chambers has been tasked with reviewing the terms and conditions set by Gavi.

“The guarantee for early access to the Covid-19 vaccine is important as it will protect Malaysians from Covid-19 and help boost the economy when ‘vaccination’ becomes a byword for mobility and global interactions,” he said.

According to Khairy, Malaysia’s participation in the multilateral Covax facility is a multi-pronged approach that will open up more vaccine options for the country and reduce the risk of being dependent on a bilateral acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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

Source: New Straits Times