The Malaysian government has signed a preliminary purchasing agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to obtain 12.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to meet the immunisation needs of 20 per cent or 6.4 million Malaysians.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the agreement was to ensure the government had access to data to assess the vaccine’s quality, safety and effectiveness while also ensuring access once it was ready for distribution. “Through this agreement, Pfizer has pledged to deliver one million doses, 1.7 million doses, 5.8 million doses and 4.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2021,” he told a virtual media conference in Putrajaya today.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin, however, said Pfizer would need approval from the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regulatory approval from the producing country, this besides approval from the Health Ministry’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for the vaccine to be used in Malaysia.

The prime minister added that the government had also inked a deal with the COVID-19 vaccine global access (COVAX) facility for 10 per cent of Malaysians, adding that with the signing of the two agreements, Malaysia now expects to guarantee COVID-19 vaccine access for 30 per cent of Malaysians.

He said the e vaccination process would be done in stages, with priority for high-risk groups prone to COVID-19 infection, including frontliners, senior citizens and patients with non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and so on.”

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