Malaysia will purchase additional Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines bringing the total allocation of the vaccines in the country to 32 million.
The additional Pfizer-BioNTech doses are expected to be enough to cover 50 percent of Malaysia’s population along with existing doses the country received on Feb 22.
According to MOSTI, all the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines secured so far are expected to be delivered by this year.
“Malaysia is also considering dropping negotiations to procure a single-dose vaccine from US pharmaceutical firm Johnson and Johnson (J&J), in favour of a deal with Chinese company CanSino Biologics, which also requires only one dose.
“This is a better option for us, compared to Johnson and Johnson, where supplies are expected to arrive only in the fourth quarter of the year (4Q21),” MOSTI Minister Khairy Jamaluddin added.
Additionally, Malaysia has also reached a supply agreement with Britain’s AstraZeneca, Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, and China’s Sinovac Biotech and CanSino. In which, NPRA is evaluating two of Covid-19 vaccine products; the Gamaleya National Research Centre’s Sputnik V and Sinovac’s CoronaVac.
MOSTI is looking to achieve the completion of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme within this year with the additional doses secured so far.
“It is not impossible to imagine it could take place sometime this year, by September at the earliest,” the MOSTI Minister said.
According to the ministry, Khairy will be the first person to receive the Sinovac vaccine when it arrives in the country this month to give the public confidence on the vaccine’s safety and quality.