PUTRAJAYA, Feb 18 — Malaysia finds the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine more attractive as recipients need to take only one dose, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a one-dose method and thus makes it very attractive to use,” he told reporters after receiving a donation of 2.7 million low dead-volume syringes worth RM891,000 from Etiqa Family Takaful Berhad at his ministry here today.
On Wednesday, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin had announced that the government will sign a COVID-19 vaccine procurement contract with Johnson & Johnson from the United States soon.
He said that so far, the clinical information on this vaccine has been positive and based on the recommendation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), the Cabinet decided to purchase the vaccine.
Dr Adham and Khairy are the co-chairmen of the JKJAV.
Commenting further on this vaccine, Dr Adham said the government had not yet determined the number of doses to be obtained from Johnson & Johnson.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham said all the syringes received today would be used in the first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme which will start on Feb 26 involving about 500,000 frontline workers.
“This contribution can at least help the Malaysian government’s efforts in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as well as being a good example to corporate companies that can participate in helping the government,” he said.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday had announced that Malaysia would receive its first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this Sunday (Feb 21) while the roll out of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme would begin in phases from Feb 26.
Muhyiddin said that he would receive the shot on the first day of the programme implementation, together with frontliners.
The first phase of the programme, which is until April, will involve the frontliners, followed by the second phase, which is from April until August, for the high-risk groups.
The third phase involves adults aged 18 and above and will be from May this year till February next year.