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IPOH: Malaysia does not qualify for free vaccines from other countries, says Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

IPOH: Malaysia does not qualify for free vaccines from other countries, says Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
The coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said this was because Malaysia was not considered a low-income country.
He said there were a lot of other countries that received free vaccines from China, India and Russia but this was because they were in the lower income bracket.
But Malaysia is categorised as an upper middle income country, where we dont get any discounts or free vaccines.
Unfortunately, we are a fully paying country we purchase all our vaccines and dont get anything for free, he told reporters after visiting the vaccination centre located at the Indera Mulia Stadium here yesterday.
He was asked to comment on PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahims question on whether Malaysia was among the countries eligible for the free vaccines that India was offering, and whether Malaysia was considering purchasing other vaccines that were cheaper and allegedly more effective.
Khairy said Malaysia was negotiating with India on its Novavax vaccine and he has held discussions with the countrys High Commissioner to Malaysia.
He said talks were not only being conducted with the government of India but also with a few organisations, including the Serum Institute of India.
Clinical data published recently on Novavax has shown that the vaccine has greater effectiveness. However, India has certain terms in the sale of the vaccine as well.
The country has also offered to sell us its homegrown vaccine by Bharat Biotech, but that vaccine has yet to go through its phase three clinical trials.
Thus, it is a bit difficult for us to purchase it as there is no clinical data, although they have used it for the immunisation programme in India, he added.
Khairy also said when the phase three of the vaccination programme starts for the rest of the population, bigger centres must be allocated.
He said the government was hoping that the vaccination programme would be completed by this year itself.
For example, the Stadium Indera Mulia can accommodate 1,400 people being vaccinated per day, but for phase three, we will need an area where some 5,000 people can be vaccinated daily.
In Kuala Lumpur, we will find a place that would be able to vaccinate about 8,000 people daily, he added.