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Health

Malaysia in deal with China for COVID-19 vaccine development

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

KUALA LUMPUR (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.

Reporting by Liz Lee

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