Malaysia to receive US-donated vaccines via Covax

MALAYSIA will be among the countries to receive Covid-19 vaccines from the US as it plans to donate seven million doses to Asian nations.

In a statement today by the US embassy in Malaysia, US President Joe Biden’s administration has announced its framework for sharing at least 80 million US vaccine doses globally by the end of June.

Of the 80 million vaccines, the US will share at least three-quarters (75%) of its donated doses through Covax, supplying to countries in need.

This will maximise the number of vaccines available equitably for the greatest number of countries and for those most at-risk within countries.

“For doses shared through Covax, the US will prioritise Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa, in coordination with the African Union,” it said.

The US plans to send its first tranche of 25 million doses with nearly 19 million will be shared through Covax.

Approximately seven million is allocated for Asia to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands.

The country also plans to share the remaining 25% of vaccines for immediate needs and to help with surges around the world.

The US will share up to one-quarter of its donated doses directly with countries in need, those experiencing surges, immediate neighbours, and other countries that have requested immediate US assistance.

The sharing of millions of US vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the US government.

“Just like in the US, we will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by US and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across international borders.

“This will take time, but the President has directed the administration to use all the levers of the US government to protect individuals from this virus as quickly as possible,” according to the statement.

The specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the Biden administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country.

Besides donating from its vaccine supply to the world and encouraging other nations to do the same, the Biden administration will pursue several additional measures beyond its robust funding for Covax.

This includes working with US manufacturers to increase vaccine production for the rest of the world, and helping more countries expand their own capacity to produce vaccines including through support for global supply chains.

“This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat Covid-19, including emergency public health assistance and aid to stop the spread and building global public health capacity and readiness to beat not just this pandemic, but the next one,” it added.

By : HARIZAH KAMEL – TMR

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