Khairy: States allowed to procure own vaccines, as long as approved by federal authorities

PETALING JAYA: Positive responses were given to state governments which have expressed intentions to procure Covid-19 vaccines on their own, says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister clarified that the state governments of Selangor and Sarawak are free to secure their own supply of vaccines, provided the vaccines were approved for use in Malaysia.

His response comes following Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement on Tuesday (April 20), that both state governments faced delays in obtaining approvals for procuring their own supply of vaccines.

“In my discussion with the Selangor Mentri Besar, he verbally mentioned Selangor’s plans to procure vaccines.

“I have responded positively, but until now I have not received any official request from the state government, ” Khairy said in a statement on Wednesday (April 21), where he added that he had also arranged several engagements with Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, on the matter.

“I told him that the Federal Government’s supply of vaccines is enough for the vaccination programme’s implementation in Sarawak.

“He too requested that his state government be allowed to procure vaccines, and I have given a positive response with the condition that the vaccine to be procured must be registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“This is because the type of vaccine that Sarawak wished to procure was still being evaluated by NPRA, ” he said.

Khairy also responded to Anwar’s statement that less than 3% of Malaysians have been vaccinated against Covid-19, to date.

“The immunisation programme is being carried out following the schedule of vaccine delivery given by the vaccine manufacturing companies. This schedule had been announced beforehand.

“I have also explained that according to the government’s forecast, our vaccine supplies will accumulate rapidly starting June, ” he said, adding he was open to criticisms and questions in response to Anwar’s call for an investigation into the vaccine procurement and administration process.

In his statement on Tuesday, Anwar had said he was “disturbed at the level of inefficiency on the part of ministerial leadership” in regards to the vaccination programme in Malaysia.

The PKR president had demanded that the federal government support the efforts of state governments and the private sector to procure approved vaccines, and also called for an independent investigation by Parliament into the causes of procurement bottlenecks.