The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is demanding an explanation from the Health Ministry on why Malaysia is not included in the 172 countries who have signed up for the Covax Vaccine Plan.
MMA president Dr N. Ganabaskaran reminded Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba that the deadline to join the plan is today, Sept 18, 2020.
“We believe that even if Malaysia has its own bilateral negotiations for a vaccine, signing up for the Covax Vaccine Plan can be an added option that will guarantee access to vaccines for Covid-19.
“We urge the ministry to be transparent on its plan to acquire the vaccines for the country. The rakyat has the right to know, and the government has a duty to keep its people informed,” he said in a statement, today.
Ganabaskaran said if the reason of not joining the plan is based on safety concerns about the vaccine’s development, the association shared such concerns.
However, he said checks will be made before any vaccine is used in the country.
“Any potential vaccine will be thoroughly evaluated through stringent checks by the ministry for efficacy and safety before they are approved and declared safe for the population.
“Even if the ministry needs more time, beyond the Covax vaccination plan deadline to decide, the rakyat must know.
“The Health Minister must respond now or he may have to answer to the rakyat later on why Malaysia is the last in the queue for the vaccines,” he said.
Yesterday, a medical news portal quoted Dr Adham as saying that the ministry is still in communication with the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding the issue. – NST