Malaysia in deal with China for Covid-19 vaccine development

Malaysia in deal with China for Covid-19 vaccine development

FILE PHOTO: A man works in a laboratory of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing, China, Sept 24, 2020. (Reuters photo)
FILE PHOTO: A man works in a laboratory of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing, China, Sept 24, 2020. (Reuters photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said on Wednesday it has signed an agreement with China to cooperate on the development of a safe and efficacious vaccine, as part of efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the agreement, in force for an initial period of five years, the Southeast Asian nation will be given priority access to Covid-19 vaccines developed by China. Both will share knowledge and expertise and facilitate scientific and technological capabilities to advance vaccine development in their countries, Malaysia said in a joint ministerial statement.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin signed the agreement with his Chinese counterpart Wang Zhigang in a virtual ceremony.

Cooperation between Malaysia and China under the agreement would be supervised by a committee chaired by the foreign affairs ministers of both countries that was formed in October to address post-pandemic challenges.

"Both countries will also support the participation of their public and private sectors including universities, institutions, societies and organisations in joint collaborative projects," the Malaysian ministries said. 

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