Bangkok, Dec 19 (efe-epa).- Malaysian authorities on Saturday said they expected to receive the country’s first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in February, the state news agency Bernama reported.
The Asian country has some 12.8 million doses of the jab on order so far, enough to cover 6.4 million people, roughly 20% of the total population.
The first million of those vaccines are due to arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021, with the rest being delivered in stages over the course of the year.
Malaysian authorities added that they expected to sign a purchase agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Monday with the aim of securing enough vaccines to protect another 20% of the population.
Another 10% should receive the jab thanks to the country’s deal with COVAX, the World Health Organization’s vaccination program.
In all, the three deals should provide enough coverage for half of the country’s population. Experts said the target should be to vaccinate at least 70%.
Over 90,000 people have been infected by Covid-19 in Malaysia and more than 430 have died since the outbreak arrived in the Southeast Asian nation.
The United Nations has warned that poorer regions of the world could be left behind in the global vaccine rollout. EFE-EPA