KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia will procure an additional 12.8 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in a bid to ramp up its immunisation programme, Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Thursday (May 27).
The procurement brings the total amount of doses secured from the US and German drugmakers to 44.8 million, enough to cover 70 per cent of Malaysia's population, Mr Khairy said.
Just under 3 per cent of Malaysia's population is fully vaccinated, though the government aims to achieve herd immunity by year end.
Malaysia's health director-general, Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah, said on Twitter earlier this week that Malaysia's surge in Covid-19 cases is following an exponential trend since the start of April, and the nation should prepare for the worst.
The infections could "trigger a vertical surge", he added, asking people to comply with the new measures that require most government officials and 40 per cent of private sector staff to work from home. "Only together we can break the chain of infection."
The worsening outbreak has stressed the healthcare system and prompted the government to further tighten restrictions.