Malaysia To Donate 50,000 Doses Of Vaccine To Bosnia-Herzegovina In The Name Of Humanity
The vaccine aid will be taken from the country's bulk, which Malaysia bought from other countries.
Malaysia has agreed to send 50,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Bosnia and Herzegovina to help the southeastern European country with easing the rising number of fatalities and daily cases
According to Bernama, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the aid is done in the name of humanity.
Other countries that did not receive priority through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility will receive aids from Malaysia too.
He added that the decision was collectively made by the Cabinet.
"So far, Bosnia and Herzegovina has appealed to Malaysia as fatalities and infections in the country are rising and they face difficulties in the European community," said the minister.
"We agreed to provide 50,000 doses of vaccine (to Bosnia and Herzegovina) as we understand not all countries are as lucky as Malaysia which was given priority to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine."
With that said, Mohd Redzuan assured that the vaccine gift would not affect the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme even though it is taken from the country's quota
"From what we have received, we have set aside the amount for them, and therefore, it would not affect our allocation to implement the national vaccination programme," he said.
"This is because we will continue to receive vaccines until the target of 70-80% vaccine recipients is reached."
The Alor Gajah Member of Parliament (MP) said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health will be managing the delivery of the vaccine.
They have not finalised which type of vaccine will be delivered as they need to consider the logistical capability of Bosnia and Herzegovina first.
He added that it is not a simple arrangement as Malaysia wants to ensure the European country is able to handle the logistics and does not want the vaccine aid to become a burden for them.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 8 April, Bosnia and Herzegovina recorded 179,248 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country that has a population of 3.2 million
The country has recorded 7,132 deaths — which is almost a 4% death rate.
In comparison, Malaysia recorded 354,468 confirmed cases with 1,304 deaths. The death rate of COVID-19 in Malaysia is below 0.4%.
Epidemiologist Fahrudin Kulenovic told Euronews that Bosnia and Herzegovina is surviving on vaccine charity given by other countries because they have a disorganised government.
"They haven't bought any single vaccine yet, and in Serbia, people get to pick their vaccines like cakes in the pastry shop — Chinese, Russian, German, or American," Kulenovic said.
Serbia is the country next to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Here, we use what we receive as a gift.
Currently, Bosnia has 52,000 doses, which were donated by Serbia and Russia. Turkey promised to send them 30,000 shots.
Senior citizens in the country have started receiving vaccines in the Serb-populated part of the country — Republika Srpska.
However, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina — home to the Muslim-majority Bosniaks and Croats — they are still waiting for jabs.
Healthcare workers in both parts of the country have been vaccinated, reported Euronews.
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