Malaysia Approves Sinopharm’s Covid-19 Vaccine, J&J Belgium-Manufactured Shot

China’s Sinopharm vaccine will only be available in the private market in Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16– Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has issued conditional registration for emergency use of Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine produced in Belgium.

Duopharma Sdn Bhd will be the local distributor for the Sinopharm vaccine manufactured by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd. (BIBP) in China, while the NPRA has also authorised the single-shot coronavirus vaccine by US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson manufactured by Pharmaceutica N.V. in Belgium.

“This conditional registration approval requires information on the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine product to be monitored and evaluated based on the latest data from time to time,” Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah mentioned in a statement today after a Drug Control Authority meeting authorised the Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson shots.

“It is to ensure that the comparison of benefit over risk for the vaccine products remains positive.”

The Ministry of Health also stated that it will always improve the level of public health measures in combating the Covid-19 epidemic through the procurement of vaccine supplies that have been evaluated in terms of quality, safety and effectiveness by NPRA.

“The government is also committed to ensuring that the Malaysian adult population achieves herd immunity in line with the targets of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Program (PICK),” Dr Noor Hisham added. 

At the same time, PICK Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s science advisor Ghows Azzam said that China’s Sinopharm vaccine will only be available in the private market. 

“Sinopharm will be supplied by Duopharma. It is not under the government’s portfolio, but will be available in the private market,” he tweeted.

Last month, NPRA issued conditional registration for emergency use of the single-dose coronavirus vaccine by China’s CanSino Biologics, of which the Malaysian government has ordered 3.5 million doses. 

Malaysia has also requested for Johnson & Johnson doses from the global COVAX vaccine-sharing programme.

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