MOH Approves Selangor’s Teen Covid-19 Vaccination With Sinovac

Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud says while Pfizer is the preferable Covid-19 vaccine for teens, MOH has no objections to the state’s plan to vaccinate teens using Sinovac.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — The Selangor state government received approval from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to inoculate teenagers aged 12 to 17 with Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine under the state’s adolescent vaccination programme, Selvax Remaja.

Selangor state executive councillor for public health Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, in a tweet today, acknowledged that while Pfizer-BioNTech is the preferable Covid-19 vaccine for teens, the federal MOH has no objections to the state’s plan to boost teen vaccination using Sinovac, an inactivated vaccine from China.

According to MOH’s CovidNow website, the Klang Valley currently has the lowest vaccination rate for adolescents aged 12 to 17, with only 33.6 per cent fully vaccinated. About 84 per cent, however, have received at least a single Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“On October 5th, in a Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) meeting, I have personally brought up Selangor’s intention to help vaccinate adolescents in Selangor with Sinovac. YBMK himself (Khairy Jamaluddin) said that there is a “conditional approval” for Sinovac use. Selangor can proceed.

“Later [we held] another meeting chaired by Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali to specifically address Sinovac vaccination in adolescents. Yes, [the] preferable vaccine is Pfizer which MOH will use but there is no objection to Sinovac and MOH has presented the guideline for Sinovac vaccine in adolescents,” Dr Siti Mariah said, referring to the deputy health minister who chairs the CITF-Adolescent task force.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari, during the official launch of the Selvax Remaja at Pandamaran in Klang, Selangor, said yesterday that the state’s plan is to complement the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) in vaccinating teens and overlooked communities.

The state has so far received the names of 3,416 students from three tahfiz schools who will receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine under Selvax Remaja.

The programme will be carried out at several vaccination centres (PPV), including at the state constituencies of Port Klang, Tanjung Sepat, Bukit Lanjan, and Pandamaran that will operate from 9am to 5pm. Those who are applicable and interested can pre-register on the SELangkah app where a voucher code will be issued.

“Selvax complements PICK in that we focus on groups who voluntarily want to get vaccinated and groups that may be left behind. For example, the current focus (on adolescent vaccination) is on teens in schools from Forms One to Five but with Selvax, we can vaccinate them faster.

“This is based on MOH’s directive that conditionally allows Sinovac to be used for those aged 12 to 17. The condition is that they do not have any comorbidities and this will be identified via doctor’s consultation before the vaccine is given to the adolescent,” Amirudin said.

The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) gave conditional registration approval for the use of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine on adolescents aged 12 to 17 last month.

The country’s pharmaceutical regulatory body, however, recommended that Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab be prioritised for teenagers without underlying health conditions and who have allergies or are contraindicated to receive the Pfizer mNRA vaccine.

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