KUALA LUMPUR,Feb 19 – Malaysia will be receiving the Sinovac Biotech Covid-19 vaccine on February 27, said Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
In a tweet, he said the Sinovac Biotech vaccine will be delivered in bulk for bottling by Pharmaniaga Bhd.
He added that the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) is currently reviewing Sinovac’s regulatory submission.
Meanwhile, the initial batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to arrive in Malaysia on Sunday morning and the vaccination programme will start on February 26.
On January 13, Pharmaniaga announced that the company had inked a deal with Sinovac to bottle and distribute 14 million doses.
It was also reported that Pharmaniaga is in discussions with the NPRA to register the Sinovac vaccine before they are bottled this month and distributed at the end of March.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said he would be the first to be vaccinated.
In the vaccination programme handbook, it is stated that Malaysia has secured a total of 66.7 million vaccine doses, including 32 million from Pfizer-BioNTech.
The country has also inked deals with UK’s AstraZeneca, Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, and CanSino Biologics, besides China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Aside from Pfizer-BioNTech, the other vaccines are awaiting NPRA approval.
The first vaccination phase is expected to start by the end of this month and run through April, involving some 300,000 medical and 200,000 non-medical front-line workers.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Sinovac vaccine is effective against the UK and South African Covid-19 variants, citing test results in Chinese trials.
The Jakarta Globe reported that Indonesia’s Drug and Food Supervisory Agency (BPOM) on Tuesday approved the emergency use of a Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by state-run Bio Farma under licence from Sinovac.
Imported Sinovac vaccines have been used since Indonesia started its vaccination programme on January 13. At least 1.1 million people, mainly medical workers – as well President Joko Widodo – have received the vaccine.
Bloomberg on February 10 reported that the Philippines will receive 600,000 Sinovac doses donated by China.
The shots are expected to arrive on February 23 with the military getting 100,000 jabs. The rest will be stored until they are cleared for emergency use by its Food and Drug Administration.