Negotiate With US To Buy Excess Vaccines, Says Najib

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should negotiate with the US to purchase Covid-19 vaccines from its excess stockpile to expedite the country’s vaccine distribution, said former prime minister Najib Razak. In a Facebook post, he said aside from the US, the United Kingdom is also expected to have an excess stock in vaccines as it reaches its vaccination target. He said Malaysia must attempt to negotiate with these countries so that vaccine rates can be increased. The US will announce in the next two weeks how it will sell and distribute 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses it has pledged globally. US President Joe Biden is expected to focus on equitable distribution of immunisation, without any political strings attached to the process. His administration will send at least 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This is on top of 60 million AstraZeneca doses he has already planned to give to other countries. Najib said Malaysia was eligible to be given priority for these vaccines from the US. He noted that Thailand had already announced that the US had agreed to help them get the vaccines despite the nation’s less dire Covid-19 situation. Vaccination rates in the US had fallen to one million doses a day yesterday, even though those wanting to get vaccinated no longer need to schedule appointments. Science, technology and innovation minister Khairy Jamaluddin previously blamed Malaysia’s slow vaccination rates on low supplies due to the “vaccine inequity” by advanced countries. “Some rich countries have bought enough vaccines for their citizens three to five times over. “Many pharmaceutical companies give preference to rich countries for obvious reasons,” he had reportedly said. I think it should be reasonably arranged and can effectively ensure the current epidemic, and the phenomenon of insufficient supply should end as soon as possible.

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