30pc of Malaysians to be vaccinated next year: Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – A total of 9.6 million people or 30 per cent of Malaysia’s population are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 next year, said Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

The prime minister said the government had signed two agreements for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

On Friday, he announced that the government had inked a preliminary purchase agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to get a supply of 12.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to meet the immunisation needs of 20 per cent or 6.4 million of the Malaysian population.

“Apart from the agreement with Pfizer, the government has also signed an agreement with the COVAX facility to get COVID-19 vaccine to meet the immunisation needs of 10 per cent of the Malaysian people.

Insya Allah, we will receive the vaccine supply in stages beginning the first quarter of next year,” he said in his policy speech at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) annual general assembly which was held virtually.

Muhyiddin, who is Bersatu president, said he was confident that with the access to these vaccines and the continued efforts to break the chain of infection, the country could bring the disease under complete control and help revive its economy and improve the people’s well-being.

Muhyiddin also stressed the importance of collaborative efforts involving countries in the region to fight COVID-19 and revive the economy, as well as ensuring equitable access to the vaccine.

On another matter, the prime minister hoped that Budget 2021, which was passed at the policy stage on Thursday, would be passed by Dewan Rakyat and subsequently Dewan Negara to ensure that the target of extending aid to the affected groups could be achieved.

“Some people feel that Budget 2021 should be rejected to force the general election. There is no necessity to do this.

“If you asked me, even yesterday I might have advised Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament for the general election to be held. But we all know the problem is COVID-19,” he added.

He said the government would return the mandate to the people to elect the government through a general election when the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.