SEREMBAN: The government will make advanced bookings of Covid-19 vaccines with the over RM3 billion allocation under Budget 2021, said the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.
He said the ministry is confident that the allocation was sufficient to make an initial order for the vaccine supply which is expected to be secured in the first quarter of next year once approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“We will start making early bookings of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed. I expect that within a month or two, we will get information from the MOH on the effectiveness of the vaccine,” he told reporters after visiting areas affected by flash floods here today.
Khairy is also the co-chairman of the Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee.
In tabling Budget 2021, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the government was committed to acquiring Covid-19 vaccines through its participation in Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax), with an estimated cost of over RM3 billion.
Meanwhile, Khairy, who is also Rembau MP, said the RM400 million allocation to carry of research and development (R&D) to support science and technology innovation is crucial to commercialising local products and technology.
“We do not want to rely only on foreign technology which involves high cost. Therefore, we will focus this large sum allocated on domestic products and technology research,“ he added.
In a separate development, Khairy, who is also the Negeri Sembilan Development Action Council committee chairman said an allocation of RM500,000 would be channelled to repair damaged roads and the riverbanks of Kampung Kuala Sawah which collapsed following floods last Wednesday.
The river there also connects several nearby areas including Kampung Stesen, Kampung Pasir and Pekan Kuala Sawah near here. -Bernama