Earlier today, the government announced that it will be procuring an additional 88 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines; enough vaccines to innoculate 140% of the country’s entire population. Announced in Bajet 2022, the Health Ministry will also be allocating an additional RM2 billion next year specifically to bolster COVID-19 vaccination programmes.
The shots procured will be used for third doses and booster shots, and will be enough for all eligible adults and teens over 12. To fund the purchase of the additional vaccines, RM6 billion will be used from the Kumpulan Wang Amanah Negara (KWAN) fund.
Moreover, employers who opt to fund private booster vaccinations for their employees will get a tax deduction, while individuals who do so will also get a tax exemption. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul also mentioned that the government will go through with the purchase of COVID-19 antiviral pills. The Health Ministry is already striking a deal with the pharmaceutical manufacturer, Merck Co, for 150000 courses.
Just earlier today, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that AstraZeneca recipients will soon be able to get Pfizer booster shots. The supplementary dose is currently reserved for only high-risk groups, as the targeted rollout is aimed at avoiding vaccine hoarding.
(Source: MOF [PDF])