Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said it was “incorrect” of Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang to claim that Belgium is paying 20 times less for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine compared to Malaysia.
“RM3 billion is our overall estimate to get coverage for at least 70 percent of our population. Your statement is incorrect,” replied Khairy to a tweet by Lim.
Lim was referring to faux pas by Belgium secretary of state Eva De Bleeker, who accidentally revealed that her country paid 12 euros (approximately RM60) per dose for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Given that Malaysia has an estimated population of 31 million, the RM3 billion allocation would work out to about RM142 per person to vaccinate about 70 percent of the population.
Some vaccines, such as Pfizer’s, come in two doses.
On Nov 24, Putrajaya rushed to book Covid-19 vaccines for 6.4 million people – about a fifth of the population – from Pfizer.
The price for each dose sold to Malaysia is unknown, as Pfizer required a non-disclosure agreement because it was negotiating with other countries.
As for the other 20 million people to be vaccinated, Khairy told the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 25 that negotiations with vaccine manufacturers are still ongoing.
“No deadline. (Negotiations are) ongoing. Demand is high, supplies limited. Rich countries have deep pockets and are buying everything. I am satisfied where we are,” said Khairy in another tweet. – Malaysiakini