KUALA LUMPUR: The European Union (EU) may have dismissed claims that it is stockpiling large amounts of the Covid-19 vaccine but Khairy Jamaluddin stands by his belief that it is among groups of developed nations that are hoarding the valued products.
The coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said EU ambassador to Malaysia Michalis Rokas may have misunderstood his previous statement about developed countries monopolising global vaccine distribution.
“I was not talking about the vaccines we bought. Thank you to the EU for not blocking the export of vaccines Malaysia has purchased.
“However, I was referring to the EU buying more vaccines than they need.
“We are talking about different things here. It’s like I am talking about durian and he is talking about rambutan,” he told a press conference after visiting the vaccination centre (PPV) at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) on Saturday (June 26).
He said it was not just the EU over-purchasing the vaccines but other developed nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom that have bought about five times the amount their population needed.
Malaysia, on the other hand, he said, had procured about 120% doses more than its population.
He also said Malaysia purchased four million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from Belgium.
On June 23, Rokas dismissed Khairy’s earlier assertions, saying that the EU secretariat had approved all vaccine requests from Malaysia without any problems.