The CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine, made by China’s Sinovac, just arrived in Malaysia.
However, this vaccine has not been approved and is currently not part of the vaccination program.
CoronaVac Vaccine Now In Malaysia!
The first batch of the Sinovac vaccine – CoronaVac – arrived at the KL International Airport aboard MH319 at 8:47 AM on 27 February 2021.
Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Health obtained CoronaVac through an intermediary company – Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn Bhd.
Hence, the Sinovac vaccine arrived in the form of 200 litres of CoronaVac bulk vaccine, which would be bottled by Pharmaniaga.
Once bottled, these 200 litres of bulk vaccine should produce over 300,000 CoronaVac doses – enough to vaccinate approximately 150,000 people.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin, said that the government is paying Sinovac less for the vaccine because bottling is done by Pharmaniaga.
However, he declined to disclose more information, so it is unknown how much the government is saving, once the costs of Pharmaniaga’s bottling and distribution are included.
CoronaVac Vaccine Not Approved In Malaysia Just Yet
While the CoronaVac vaccine has arrived in Malaysia, we should point out that it has not been approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
Therefore, the CoronaVac vaccine will not be used just yet in the Malaysia COVID-19 vaccination program.
According to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, this is because the CoronaVac vaccine has not been bottled.
One of the criteria for approval by the NPRA is the evaluation of the bottling process by Pharmaniaga. Until that happens, the CoronaVac vaccine cannot be approved for use in Malaysia.
It should be pointed out that China only just approved this Sinovac vaccine for general use on 6 February 2021.
Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine : A Quick Primer
Developed by Sinovac, CoronaVac is an inactivated virus vaccine – an older method of creating vaccines.
The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are cultured (grown) in Vero cells, and inactivated (killed) before being administered as a vaccine.
The CoronaVac vaccine only needs to be refrigerated at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F), which makes it easy to distribute.
This is a 2-dose vaccine, which the second dose delivered 14 days after the first.
Its Brazil clinical trial results showed that the CoronaVac vaccine was 50.4% effective in preventing COVID-19, just crossing the 50% mark for regulatory approval.
It was about 78% effective in preventing “mild to severe” COVID-19 disease, which is nevertheless good news.
Recommended : CoronaVac Vaccine By Sinovac : Your Questions Answered!
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