Malaysia is committed to providing a free COVID-19 vaccination programme to all residents in the country, and that will include foreigners residing in the country. The government has said on Thursday (Feb 11) that this will include students, refugees and undocumented migrants.
The country is expected to start its first vaccine rollout at the end of this month, aiming to cover at least 80% of its population within a year. According to the government committee on vaccine supply, as many residents as possible need to be immunised to create a safe environment free from COVID-19. “During a pandemic, providing vaccinations is a humanitarian step,” it added.
The committee, however, said priority will be given to Malaysians, with the vaccination schedule for foreigners to be announced at a later date, Reuters reports.
On a separate occasion, science minister Khairy Jamaluddin said foreigners eligible for free vaccinations will include asylum-seekers registered with the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and undocumented migrants.
Malaysia has secured more than enough vaccines to reach its targets after agreeing supply deals with U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute as well as China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd and CanSino Biologics.
It had also secured two separate vaccine shipments from AstraZeneca PLC, including one arranged under the global COVAX facility.