Vaccines: Even the economically disadvantaged Bangladesh is ahead of us!

By Lim Lip Eng


ECONOMICALLY, Malaysia is ahead of Bangladesh and yet, one of the world’s poorest nations has overtaken Malaysia in getting the COVID-19 vaccines.

Despite all the reports about the lack of ultra-cold storage facilities in the country, Malaysia went ahead to purchase the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer, which will only arrive end of this month.

As for Bangladesh, which purchased 30 million doses of the Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, has already received its first delivery of five million doses.

Plus, the two million doses of Covishield were also delivered as a gift from India, while China has also given away millions of doses to countries such as Brazil and Turkey, but we hardly hear any such offers from Pfizer.

Prior to the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin on the purchase from Pfizer, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi had visited both Indonesia and Malaysia to offer their vaccines at below US$20 per dose.

Indonesia had since received their vaccines and started the vaccination programme, but Malaysia is still lagging behind.

In most of these countries, we see the Health Minister leading the vaccination programme, but in Malaysia, the task is given to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

It is time for the Government to tell us whether the delay is caused by the lack of ultra-cold storage or other forms of negotiations that involve profit to the companies involved.

This is a question that has been raised by the public, and since this question could not be brought up in Parliament, it has to be answered by the Government in the public domain.


Lim Lip Eng is the MP for Kepong

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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