KUALA LUMPUR – On Nov 17, Malaysia announced that it had entered into an agreement with China to engage in the promotion of a safe and efficient antibody vaccine as part of efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the deal, in effect for an initial duration of five years, priority access to COVID-19 vaccines produced by China will be granted to Malaysia.
Formally signed the bilateral agreement on vaccine development and accessibility with Minister Wang Zhigang of China which will see Malaysia getting priority access for COVID-19 vaccines. This is part of the high-level bilateral committee under @HishammuddinH2O. pic.twitter.com/ViaCgwZn7e— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) November 18, 2020
In a joint ecclesiastical explanation, Malaysia said that both would share data and mastery and promote rational science and mechanical capability to advance antibody development in their nations.
In a virtual ceremony, Minister of Research, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin signed the agreement with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Zhigang.
Cooperation between Malaysia and China under the agreement will be overseen by a committee created in October to resolve post-pandemic issues, headed by the foreign affairs ministers of both countries.
“Both countries will also promote the involvement in joint collaborative ventures of their public and private sectors, including universities, organizations, associations and organisations,” the Ministries of Malaysia said.
On Monday, Malaysia said it is in the final stage of negotiations with producers of COVID-19 vaccines and plans to carry out immunisations by the first quarter of next year. Malaysia is in talks with 10 manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines that are in Phase 3 trials, Mr Khairy said.
Deputy Health Director-General Rohaizat Yon said the different policies of the Health Ministry have helped keep the number of COVID-19 deaths in Malaysia low at 9 deaths per 1 million people.
An study found that the bulk of COVID-19 casualties in Malaysia were mostly patients aged 50 and over, accounting for 85.4 percent of all deaths, Dr. Rohaizat said.
‘Comorbidities such as elevated blood pressure, asthma and cardiac failure as well as the length of patients receiving care at health facilities are other key factors that also lead to the mortality of COVID-19 patients,’ he added.