KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Malaysia will receive 500,000 finished doses of CanSino’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine in the second quarter of the year, starting this month, Dr Adham Baba announced today.
In April, 150,000 finished doses of the coronavirus vaccine by Chinese biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics Inc will be sent from China to Malaysia, followed by 350,000 finished doses in May.
Following that, the bulk form of one million doses each will be sent separately in June, July, and August for completion with the fill-and-finish process, or final manufacturing, by CanSino’s local partner Solution Biologics Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Solution Group Berhad.
Solution Biologics is supplying the Malaysian government a total of 3.5 million CanSino vaccine doses.
“Through this procurement with Solution Biologics Sdn Bhd, a total of 10.9 per cent of the population, or 3.5 million people, will get the benefit. Besides that, the single-dose vaccine can be used for foreigners residing in Malaysia,” Dr Adham said during his speech at the signing of the agreement with Solution Biologics in Putrajaya today.
“However, the company has to still adhere to all regulations with regards to registration with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and the Drug Control Authority (DCA) before supplying the Covid-19 vaccine to the Malaysian government.”
The health minister said if the company fails to get the registration from NPRA and DCA, the agreement will be cancelled. The NPRA has yet to authorise CanSino’s Covid-19 vaccine for use in the country, nor approved Solution Biologics’ fill-and-finish facility for human vaccines.
Solution Biologics told CodeBlue last February that besides supplying 3.5 million doses of CanSino’s vaccine to the government, it also intends to sell shots to the private sector, expecting to provide between eight and 10 million doses in Malaysia.
Pakistan’s Health Minister Faisal Sultan tweeted last February that an interim multi-country analysis of Phase Three trials showed the CanSino vaccine was 65.7 per cent and 90.98 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and severe disease respectively.
In the Pakistani subset with 30,000 participants, CanSino’s vaccine efficacy in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 rose to 74.8 per cent, besides giving complete protection against severe Covid-19 disease. Fortune reported that neither the Pakistani government nor CanSino released further data on the vaccine’s efficacy rate, beyond the health minister’s tweet.
Besides Pakistan, CanSino has also studied its coronavirus vaccine in Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. The CanSino vaccine has also been used in more than 150,000 members of the Chinese military who received shots under an emergency use agreement, outside clinical trials.
However, CanSino has yet to publish Phase Three trial data on its Covid-19 vaccine in any peer-reviewed journal.
Similarly, the Covid-19 vaccine by China’s Sinovac Biotech, which was previously given conditional registration by NPRA, has not published its Phase Three trial data in any peer-reviewed journal.
The Ministry of Health’s pharmacy regulatory division told CodeBlue that NPRA gave the Sinovac vaccine conditional registration after reviewing interim analysis of a Phase Three clinical trial in Brazil.
Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said that the government might be using single-shot vaccines to vaccinate foreigners, especially undocumented immigrants who might be afraid to come forward to the authorities to get vaccinated. With a single-dose vaccine, such migrants will not need to come back again for their second dose.