Yong Teck Lee wants the government to expedite the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines as they are the best long-term solution to the pandemic.

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah Perikatan Nasional (PN) leader wants the federal government to make known its plans on the recent developments of Covid-19 vaccines which are in the final stages of trials.

SAPP president Yong Teck Lee said drugmaker Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech had developed the vaccine, which is reported to be more than 90% effective in the protection against the virus.

Yong, who is a nominated assemblyman, said it was also reported that doses of this vaccine will roll out from next month.

“This is good news and the government should immediately be fast-tracking to ensure this vaccine can be obtained soonest possible. China’s Sinopharm has also been reported to be a success so far.

“Malaysia should expedite the procurement of vaccines which are in the process of being approved for use in other countries.

“Vaccines are the best long-term solution to the pandemic because they do not only prevent the virus but also put an end to the economic crisis affecting the people,” he said in a statement here today.

According to a Reuters report, US health secretary Alex Azar had said his government planned to begin vaccinating Americans in December if Pfizer submitted the positive initial data from its Covid-19 vaccine trial to health regulators as quickly as expected.

Pfizer had on Monday said the vaccine it was developing with BioNTech was 90% effective against the virus, based on an early look at results from its large, late-stage trial.

Meanwhile, the former Sabah chief minister said other countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, for example, are fast-tracking and entering the third and final trials of the vaccines.

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He said the Philippines aimed to have Covid-19 vaccine shots next year to innoculate about a fourth of its population.

Yong added Manila was evaluating 17 vaccines in various stages and is in talks to source the supply to initially vaccinate 25 million people out of their 100 million population.

“Malaysia should likewise get cracking now to evaluate various vaccines that are in the final stages of trials so as to prepare for mass vaccinations for its frontliners and citizens,” he said.

He added that that the vaccines must also be provided for free for the benefit of all Malaysians.

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