KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Pharmaniaga Berhad announced today that it is set to roll out Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine to state governments and the private sector.
This initiative is primarily aimed to inoculate economic frontliners, including employees from government-linked companies (GLCs) and private firms, as well as foreign workers and expatriates in Malaysia.
According to the local pharmaceutical company — which manufactures the fill-finish version of Sinovac’s vaccine besides importing the finished vaccine from China — the supply of Sinovac vaccines will also pave the way for state governments to accelerate their own Covid-19 immunisation initiatives.
“We will ensure an effective provision and distribution of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses supplied to the private market and state governments, and it will not disrupt our existing contractual obligation with the federal government,” Pharmaniaga group managing director Zulkarnain Md Eusope said in a statement after Pharmaniaga’s 23rd annual general meeting (AGM) and extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
He said Pharmaniaga is expected to fulfil the federal government’s order of 12 million Sinovac vaccine doses by next month.
As of June 14, however, Pharmaniaga has only delivered about 3.1 million doses to the federal government, based on data provided by Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Zulkarnain noted that China’s Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine for children aged three to 17 years, besides approving the manufacturing of two doses per vial.
“We are very pleased with this new development and shall be submitting the relevant documents to NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency) for the variation process. Upon obtaining the approval, we will be able to ramp up our capacity from two million to four million doses a month.”
Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said recently that the state government is expected to begin its own Selangor Covid-19 Vaccination Programme (SCVP) early next month, with RM200 million allocated for the initiative that prioritises vaccination of workers.
The country’s most developed state is expecting delivery of the first batch of 2.5 million vaccine doses it purchased to arrive at the end of this month, although Amirudin did not reveal the brand of Covid-19 vaccine procured by the state government.
Amirudin and Khairy said in a joint statement yesterday that the federal Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) welcomed the Selangor state government’s SCVP as a complement to the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
“Under Phase Four of PICK, which is the epidemic control phase, it’s important to protect workers in industrial sectors to prevent disruption of the national economy,” Amirudin and Khairy said after a meeting yesterday.
Both the federal CITF and Selangor state government have agreed to increase the number of Covid-19 vaccination centres (PPVs) in the state, besides increasing human resources for the new PPVs that will be opened by state-owned Selgate Healthcare and Ministry of Health-owned ProtectHealth Corporation. Mobile vaccination units will be created too.
“This is to achieve the vaccination target for Selangor of 135,000 daily doses administered by July, rising to 165,000 daily doses administered by August,” said Khairy and Amirudin.
“Together with Phase Four of PICK, or the Private-Public Partnership Covid-19 Industrial Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, this collaboration is proof of the joint effort between the federal and state governments.”