Khairy gives detailed breakdown of RM5 billion vaccine bill

The amount includes rental fees for canopies, chairs and even portable toilets in addition to vaccine procurement.

(Malaysia Now) – Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today issued a detailed breakdown of the RM5 billion allocation from the National Trust Fund (KWAN) for the country’s massive immunisation programme against Covid-19 or PICK.

In a statement, he said the amount included rental fees for canopies, tables and chairs, as well as computers, generators and even portable toilets in addition to major components such as vaccine procurement.

Khairy, who is in charge of PICK, also said the increase from RM3 billion to RM5 billion was to take into account the cost of implementing the nationwide programme in addition to vaccine procurement.

Initially, he said, the government had obtained vaccine access for 82.8% of the population at a total cost of RM2.05 billion, as announced in December last year.

“Taking into consideration interruptions to supplies like export restrictions, raw materials, factory capacities and regulatory approval, the 82.8% total was raised to 110%, announced in the PICK guidebook launched on Feb 16.”

Khairy said the cost of obtaining enough vaccine for 110% of the population was RM3.16 billion.

Noting the recent announcements by several vaccine producers that clinical tests are being run on teenagers, he said the government had also made early arrangements to increase the supply of jabs for administration to this group once the green light is given.

“The government also decided to procure more vaccines as buffer stock in case additional booster doses are needed.

“So while for the time being the estimated procurement cost is RM3.16 billion, it depends on the additional supplies for teenagers and buffer stock, up to the ceiling of RM3.5 billion set by the finance ministry.”

Adding that this estimation of procurement cost was not final, he referred to the government’s agreements with suppliers like Gamaleya for the Sputnik V jabs and China’s CanSino which cannot yet be fulfilled as the vaccines are still under review by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“If these vaccines are not approved or take too long, the government can choose to discontinue the agreements without any financial implications,” he said.

Other financial commitments related to PICK include rental and utilities for vaccination centres, equipment, cleaning and sanitisation expenses, gratuity for volunteers, community outreach programmes and the outsourcing of private medical practitioners.

Breakdown of RM5 billion allocation for the implementation of the national vaccination programme