Malaysia in deal with China for COVID-19 vaccine development

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2020-11-18 16:12:16 BdST

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Members of Malaysia Social Welfare Department wearing personal protective equipment prepare for food distribution at an area under enhanced lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Klang, Malaysia Nov 18, 2020. REUTERS

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.