PUTRAJAYA, July 16 — The decision to stop administering the Sinovac vaccine in the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) is because its delivery has been completed and has nothing to do with the vaccine’s efficacy, said PICK Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
According to him, Pharmaniaga Bhd had finished supplying 12 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine to the government for the PICK earlier than the original schedule.
“We are receiving the entire delivery (of the Sinovac vaccine) by the end of this month,” he said, dismissing speculations that the decision to stop giving the Sinovac vaccine was related to its efficacy.
Pharmaniaga, in a media statement, said that the supply of the Sinovac vaccine for the PICK had been completed, with the final batch to be supplied on July 21. Pharmaniaga’s contract to the government is to supply 12 million doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on a ‘fill and finish’ basis over a period of seven months between May and November 2021.
Khairy, in a joint news conference on the development of PICK with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba today, said the government has decided to use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the immunisation programme starting next month, while the Sinovac stockpile would be reserved for those who are allergic to other vaccines.
“For this purpose, the government has ordered three million doses of the Sinovac vaccine to be kept as a stockpile which we will receive by the end of July or early August,” he said.
To date, the government had received 6.66 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine including one million doses contributed by the United States government recently.
On foreign media reports regarding the export restrictions on AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Thailand, Khairy said he would hold bilateral talks with the neighbouring country to ensure there was no disruption in the supply of the vaccine to Malaysia.
However, he said Malaysia has prepared an alternative plan should the Thailand government restricted the export of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the country.
“We have a Plan B which is to increase vaccine purchase from Sinovac as we already have the fill and finish facility in Malaysia (Pharmaniaga). So, Pharmaniaga knows if there is any contingency, we may call on them to produce for the federal government,” he said.