Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today has announced that the Malaysian government signed a preliminary deal with Pfizer to purchase its COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, the company had announced that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate that it co-developed with the German company BioNTech has an efficacy rate of above 90%.
Through the deal, Malaysia will receive 12.8 million doses in which one million of them will be delivered within the first quarter of 2021. It will be then followed by 1.7 million, 5.8 million, and 4.3 million in the subsequent quarters, respectively.
PM Muhyiddin pointed out that the 12.8 million doses will be able to cater to 6.4 million Malaysians or around 20% of the population. The vaccine will be provided for free to Malaysians while foreigners will have to pay for it although the exact fee has yet to be determined by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
In terms of priority, high-risk groups including frontliners, the elderly, and patients with serious diseases and illness will be vaccinated first. However, the distribution of the vaccine is still subject to the approval by the US Food and Drugs Administration as well as Malaysia’s own National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.