KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin said he is willing to take any of the COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Malaysian authorities.
Khairy said since many people had safely taken the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, he wants to opt for the vaccine that is approved next to show that all vaccines are safe and given to the people irrespective of their status.
“I have been reading people’s reactions and opinions for the past few days. The Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), Health director-general (Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah), chief ministers and frontliners have started to receive Pfizer and there are no side effects.
“Now the people are asking, if all the leaders are taking the Pfizer vaccine because it is good stuff, are the rest for ordinary people? So, I made a decision yesterday that I will take whatever vaccine that is approved next.
“If it’s Sinovac, it will be Sinovac. If it’s the Russian vaccine, it will be the Russian vaccine. If it’s AstraZeneca (Oxford-AstraZeneca), it will be AstraZeneca,” he told reporters after witnessing the arrival of the first batch of Sinovac vaccine at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.
The Pfizer vaccine is the first and only brand approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for use in Malaysia so far.
The envirotainer – a temperature-controlled container – with 200 litres of the vaccine arrived at 9 am at the KLIA from Beijing in a Malaysia Airlines Airbus 330-300 aircraft, Flight MH319, bearing the livery of the Jalur Gemilang (national flag).
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd was transported using a passenger-to-cargo flight.
The 200 litres of the vaccine can make available more than 300,000 doses.
Khairy said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been proven safe with no side effects.
Apart from Muhyiddin and Dr Noor Hisham, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri as well as Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee have also received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Indonesia is among the countries that have started using the Sinovac vaccine, with President Joko Widodo being the first person in the country to receive the vaccine.