KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has a responsibility to explain why Malaysia has not signed on for the Covax Vaccine Plan for Covid-19 vaccines, says the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
Its president, Dr N. Ganabaskaran, said Malaysia is not among the 172 countries that have signed up and Friday (Sept 18) is the deadline to do so.
"The MMA believes 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 Health Ministry to be transparent on its plans to acquire vaccines for the country. The rakyat have a right to know and the government has a duty to keep the country informed," he said in a statement Friday.
"We understand there may be safety concerns on vaccine development being fast-tracked and we are equally concerned.
"However, any potential vaccine will be thoroughly evaluated through stringent checks by the Health Ministry for efficacy and safety, before they are approved and declared safe for the population," he added.
Dr Ganabaskaran said even if the ministry needs more time beyond the Covax Vaccine 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 last in the queue for the vaccines," he said.
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