KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia announced on Saturday that it expected to receive the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in February, according to a report by the national Bernama news wire.
Malaysia last month announced that it had agreed to purchase 12.8 million doses of the vaccine, becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to strike a deal with the US drug maker.
As part of the deal, Pfizer will deliver the first 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 was also in talks with other pharmaceutical companies to obtain more vaccines.
“The government is making efforts to obtain more vaccines to meet our needs. The government will follow the advice of the Ministry of Health regarding the percentage of people who should be vaccinated, ”said Mohamed Azmin, quoted by Bernama.
Pfizer and its German BioNTech partners have entered into supply agreements with several countries, including the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and Great Britain.
They plan to produce up to 50 million doses of vaccine globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
More than 150 potential vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, including 48 in human trials, according to the WHO.