Malaysia Won’t Exclude Elderly From Getting Sinovac Vaccine

Brazil trials show that Sinovac’s vaccine completely protects against severe Covid-19; the paper is under review, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — The Malaysian government will include people aged 60 and above for Covid-19 inoculation with the shot by Chinese vaccine developer Sinovac, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

The Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) has already reviewed clinical data that found the Sinovac vaccine offered complete protection against severe Covid-19 disease.

“Yes, the committee has reviewed the data and we have decided to use the Sinovac for senior citizens. Based on the Brazil trials — the paper is currently under review — the secondary efficacy in moderate and severe cases for Covid-19 for the Sinovac vaccine were 83.7 per cent for moderate cases and 100 per cent for severe cases,” Khairy told a virtual press conference today.

The Phase Three clinical trial in Brazil among health care workers showed that Sinovac’s vaccine was just 50.65 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19. Sinovac also has yet to publish Phase Three trial data on its Covid-19 vaccine in a peer-reviewed journal. 

A top official from the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly admitted last Saturday that the efficacy of Chinese coronavirus vaccines was low and as such, China was considering mixing the shots to try to offer greater protection from Covid-19. 

“So this vaccine is effective in preventing severe cases of Covid-19 and this is precisely what we want to avoid for the senior citizens because almost 80 per cent of mortality from Covid-19 are those aged 60 and above,” Khairy responded, when asked about the comments from China’s top disease control official.

“We can give them a 100 per cent protection against severe cases of Covid-19, which the Sinovac vaccine does before and provides, and it’s something that we need to continue to use,” added Khairy, who has completed vaccination with the Sinovac vaccine.

He said Malaysia has received 200,000 finished doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine and is expected to receive another 200,000 doses of the finished product from China. The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has yet to approve local pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga Bhd’s fill-and-finish facility for human vaccines to process Sinovac’s vaccine.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, in comparison, was found to be at least 97 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, severe disease, and death, based on real-world data from Israel’s vaccination programme. Analysis also revealed 94 per cent effectiveness against asymptomatic Covid-19 infections.

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