PUTRAJAYA, May 11 — A total of 290,480 vials of the COVID-19 Sinovac vaccine bottled by Pharmaniaga Bhd (Pharmaniaga) will be used at vaccination centres (PPV) nationwide starting Tuesday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said.
It is the first batch handed over by the company to the Health Ministry (MOH), he said.
“We are now in the second phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme. As reported, we received 400,000 doses of COVID-19 Sinovac vaccine supply directly from Beijing, China.
“The remaining vials from the first batch will also be used at PPVs this month,” he told a press conference after the handover ceremony of the (Sinovac) vaccine in Malaysia undertaken through the fill and finish process here.
In February, Pharmaniaga Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn Bhd (PLS) received 200 litres or the equivalent of 300,000 doses of the first batch supply of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in bulk for the batch manufacturing validation process.
This was a historic moment for Malaysia and an equally important one for the company in its efforts to pioneer vaccine production and as the first vaccine factory to undertake the ‘fill and finish’ process in Malaysia.
To ensure sufficient supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr Adham said the government is constantly in talks with the manufacturers of AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and has also targeted receiving 3.97 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech between April to June.
Meanwhile, Pharmaniaga Group Managing Director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said to date PLS had submitted the first four batches for validation and quality control purposes by Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“After undergoing several quality control tests according to NPRA regulations, Alhamdulillah, the ‘fill and finish’ vaccine produced by PLS was approved by the Malaysian Drug Control Authority (DCA) on April 23,” he said.
Zulkarnain said fill and finish vaccine production is now at its maximum level and PLS is capable of producing two million doses of vaccine a month.