(Updated)

Malaysia still discussing with Saudi Arabia on vaccines for Umrah, says Khairy

Malaysia still discussing with Saudi Arabia on vaccines for Umrah, says Khairy
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PUTRAJAYA (Oct 20): Malaysia is still discussing with the Saudi Arabian government on the types of vaccines allowed for individuals wanting to perform the Umrah pilgrimage in the kingdom, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“The ongoing discussion is to avoid vaccine discrimination as we have found that all the Covid-19 vaccines (used in Malaysia) are safe and effective,” he said at the handing over of the Malaysia Corporate Family contribution at the Ministry of Health (MoH) here on Wednesday.

The Saudi Arabian government was previously reported as accepting only four types of vaccines, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, for individuals wanting to go to the kingdom.

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In July, Saudi Arabia announced that individuals fully vaccinated with the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine would be accepted into the county on the condition that they had received the booster dose from vaccines recognised by it.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the MySejahtera application will have a new feature to enable individuals needing the booster dose to apply for it from next month in meeting the condition set by other countries, including for performing the umrah and haj.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, the MoH received 81 electric tilt beds worth RM2 million from Lembaga Tabung Haji through its A’fiat Tabung Haji 2021 programme to meet the need for additional beds in intensive care units (ICUs) of selected hospitals.

“These beds are also for other vital units that manage non-Covid-19 cases during the transition from the pandemic-to-endemic phase,” said Khairy, who expressed his appreciation for the contribution from Tabung Haji.

He added that the contribution was from the extended A’fiat Tabung Haji 2020 programme, from which Tabung Haji contributed 57 haemodialysis machines worth almost RM2 million to 42 government hospitals.