PUTRAJAYA, May 25 — A total of 5,867 media personnel from 114 registered media agencies will receive their COVID-19 vaccination shots in the near future, National COVID-19 Immunisation Program Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
The decision taken by the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) was in line with the government’s decision to give priority to frontliners, including teachers and media practitioners.
“Appointments will be given as soon as possible once CITF receives their details,” he said at a virtual COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme media conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba today.
Khairy said CITF was cooperating with the Information Department, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and media associations in the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak to collect the names of media personnel who have been active in the field for a period of two years, beginning May 1, 2019 to April 30 this year.
Prior to this, Khairy had said that media personnel will receive the COVID-19 vaccine this month as they are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while on duty in the field.
In another development, Khairy gave the assurance that the Sinovac vaccine bottled by Pharmaniaga Life Science Sdn Bhd was of good quality, refuting claims that it was inferior compared to the original produced by Sinovac Lifesciences Co Ltd of China.
He said the ‘fill and finish’ process by the Pharmaniaga Bhd subsidiary complied with validation and quality control guidelines by Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“There are strict processes to be followed besides the NPRA inspection, this to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines before they are sent to the vaccination centres. This means the ‘fill and finish’ (vaccine) has the same quality as the one from the Sinovac facility in Beijing, China,” he said.
The government is reported to have a supply of 8.2 million doses of Sinovac vaccine by the end of June with 3.8 million of them through the ‘fill and finish’ process by Pharmaniaga Life Science.