KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Saturday (Dec 19) said it expects to receive the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in February, according to a report by national news wire Bernama.
Last month, Malaysia announced it agreed to buy 12.8 million doses of the vaccine. Under the deal, Pfizer will deliver the first one million doses in the first quarter of 2021, with 1.7 million, 5.8 million and 4.3 million doses to follow in subsequent quarters.
Trade Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government is also in talks with other pharmaceutical companies to secure more vaccines.
"The government is making efforts to get a bigger supply of vaccine to meet our needs. The government will take the advice of the Health Ministry regarding the percentage of people who need to be vaccinated," Mohamed Azmin was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Pfizer and their German partner BioNTech have supply deals with several countries including the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and Britain.
They expect to produce globally up to 50 million doses of vaccines in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
More than 150 potential vaccines are being developed and tested globally to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, with 48 in human trials, according to the WHO.