PETALING JAYA: Rafidah Aziz is demanding that the committee overseeing the vaccine supply explain the decision to allow the sale of 14 million Sinovac doses to states and private entities.
The former international trade and industry minister said the people should not be made to pay for “what should be free”.
“Is not vaccinating the population a healthcare service to the rakyat?” she said in a statement. “Is not the vaccination of the entire population already budgeted for? Was not the total requirements all calculated, and planned for, to be delivered free to the rakyat?”
Rafidah said this in response to news that Pharmaniaga Bhd will sell the vaccine to interested states and private companies from this month till September.
The pharmaceutical giant was given the green light to do so by the Covid-19 vaccine supply access guarantee special committee (JKJAV).
In announcing it earlier this evening, deputy prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the list of states and companies that had applied to purchase the vaccine would be referred to the committee for review.
Rafidah went on to say that she found it “strange” that Putrajaya was treating the people differently as it had previously allocated funds to vaccinate the population.
She also said not everyone could afford to vaccinate a family, especially those affected by the lockdowns.
Making companies pay to vaccinate their employees was the surest way to encourage avoidance, due to cost as businesses have not generated revenue due to the lockdown.
“Can the chairman of the vaccination committee please explain? No one should make money from the vaccines!”
Rafidah also said that giving Pharmaniaga the right to distribute the “fill and finish” Sinovac vaccines was a “blatant abuse of monopoly status”.
“Would it not be cheaper to just import Sinovac from China in its ready-to-use state? We could probably get a discount from China.”