The maximum price for each COVAX (Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility) vaccine offered to Malaysia through the global COVID-19 allocation plan will be USD21 (RM87.60).
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin said negotiations with COVAX to procure the vaccine are now in its final stages, Harian Metro reported.
“We hope to sign COVAX in the nearest future. I just want to explain that COVAX is part of our need to get COVID-19 vaccine. Most of the procurement will be achieved through bilateral talks with relevant countries,” he said during a Q&A at Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
According to Khairy, the discussion also involves the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Attorney General’s Chambers examining several clause agreements in COVAX.
Out of four, one of the basic components in any vaccine produced is an antigen. The other three main ingredients are preservatives, stabilisers and antibiotics, says Prof Dr Zamberi Sekawi, a Consultant Specialist in Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences University Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The function of an antigen is to stimulate the body to produce antibodies that kill the virus in the body. “Antibody reactions are produced within one to two weeks after an individual has received the vaccine,” said the professor.
The antibodies prevent individuals from contracting infections like influenza, polio and meningitis, said Zamberi. However, he added that how those four ingredients are used depends on the manufacturer of the vaccine.
“The combination of these four main ingredients is also used to ensure that the vaccine produced lasts up to two years. The need for adults to take vaccines depends on the risk of getting the diseases,” Zamberi explained.
For example, he said, if one area has high cases of influenza, it is dangerous to elderly citizens and those with chronic diseases. “It can cause death if they’re infected with the virus so they need to take the vaccine,” he said.
“Young people are encouraged to take vaccine injections even though the symptoms of influenza are mild and does not harm their health,” he added.