KUALA LUMPUR: The government has decided to donate 559,200 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Bangladesh and 283,400 doses to Laos to ensure the countries in need have equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said as of Dec 6, only 20% of Bangladesh's population and 24% of Laos' population had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
He said both the countries would receive their supply on Dec 6 and Dec 8 respectively.
Khairy also gave assurances that despite the contributions, Malaysia had sufficient vaccine stocks for the adult and adolescent vaccination programmes, as well as booster doses for eligible individuals.
"The Health Ministry (MOH) hopes the contribution will help the efforts of both governments to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and increase the vaccination rate in their respective countries.
"The Malaysian government, through MOH and Wisma Putra (Foreign Affairs Ministry) will continue to identify and assist countries that have recorded low vaccination rates through the provision of Covid-19 vaccine donations," he said in a statement.
Khairy said Malaysia had previously received a total of 2,913,790 vaccine doses contributed from four countries, namely Japan, the United States, China and the United Kingdom.
"The contribution had helped increase the rate of vaccination coverage in the country, and now, Malaysia hopes to do the same to other countries in need," he added. – Bernama