Decision to use National Trust Fund will expedite Covid-19 vaccination process, says Budget Office director

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The government’s decision to use RM5bil from the National Trust Fund (KWAN) will help expedite the implementation of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, says Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican (pic).

The National Budget Office director said this was among the reasons for the increase in vaccine procurement costs from the RM3bil allocated in Budget 2021.

The decision was also made after taking into account the country’s economic situation and the increase in Covid-19 cases, Johan said.

"It is very important for the country to achieve herd immunity. Therefore, the government has decided to expedite the implementation of the vaccination programme so that it can be completed by the end of 2021.

"The decision has also increased other costs, ” he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV's Ruang Bicara programme here Tuesday (May 4) night.

The accumulated balance of KWAN amounted to RM19.5bil as of Dec 30,2020.

Johan said among other factors that increased costs to procure the Covid-19 vaccines was the government’s decision to engage private hospitals in the immunisation programme, which involved a cost of RM200mil.

He said the decision to use an allocation from KWAN which was on a grant basis was necessary to return the country to normalcy. - Bernama

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