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Coronavirus

Malaysia secures Pfizer vaccine in a first for Southeast Asia

PM Muhyiddin says 'high-risk groups' will be first in line for 12.8m doses

Malaysia has struck a deal for 12.8 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia has agreed to buy 12.8 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to announce a deal with the U.S. drugmaker after some expressed reservations over the need for ultra-cold storage.

While final trial data showed that Pfizer's vaccine is 95% effective, many Asian countries are not betting on it partly due to tropical heat, remote island communities and a lack of ultra-cold freezers.

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