Malaysia just announced the purchase of 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine!
Malaysia Buys 12.8 Million Doses Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine!
On 27 November 2020, Malaysia announced that Pfizer will deliver 12.8 million doses of their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.
The purchase was signed earlier on Tuesday, 24 November 2020, but the deal only announced today.
Malaysia will receive the 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in four tranches over the whole year :
- Q1 2021 : 1 million doses
- Q2 2021 : 1.7 million doses
- Q3 2021 : 5.8 million doses
- Q4 2021 : 4.3 million doses
Because the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses per person, the 12.8 million doses are only enough to vaccinate a maximum of 6.4 million people – approximately 20% of the Malaysian population.
In reality, we should expect many doses to go to waste, due to the complicated storage and usage requirements of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Distributing and administering the vaccine will also be a logistical nightmare.
Vaccinating 20% of the population across the entire year is nowhere close enough to create herd immunity. It is very likely that the Pfizer vaccine will not be the only COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Malaysia.
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine : A Quick Primer
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA-based vaccine.
Unlike more traditional methods of using dead particles, or attenuated viruses, the mRNA vaccine teaches your cells to create proteins that mimic the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thereby triggering an immune response.
The Pfizer vaccine requires extreme refrigeration, which greatly complicates logistics :
- Every Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine thermal shipping box contains between 1,000 and 5,000 doses.
- Every shipping box is packed with specially-formulated dry ice, to last for up to 10 days, or 15 days if kept refilled with dry ice.
- When stored in special ultra-low temperature freezers at -70°C or lower, it will last up to 6 months.
- When stored in standard freezers (commonly used in hospitals) at 2-8°C, it will last up to 5 days.
Hence, vaccination using the Pfizer vaccine is likely to occur only in selected government hospitals in major cities.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- Keep our homes, offices, vehicles, etc. clean
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
- Wash your food with water (and soap) after purchase and before preparation
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