CoronaVac arrives, but must obtain approval first

Sinovac’s CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine, received by Malaysia today, must first go through a manufacturing process by the pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga, to be evaluated and approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). – MAS Kargo photo

THE CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine arrived in the country this morning, but it must first receive approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) before being administered.

Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin, said the NRPA would evaluate the manufacturing process before recommending to the Drug Control Authority (PBKD) for approval.

“Many ask why we received a vaccine that has yet to be approved by the regulatory agency today. This is because the approval process from the regulatory agency must look at how this vaccine is bottled before it can be approved,” said Khairy after receiving the vaccines at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Bernama reported.

The 300,00 doses touched down at the airport around 9am today on flight MH319.

They were flown in on an Airbus 300 passenger-to-cargo flight, and will be taken to the Pharmaniaga manufacturing facility where it will be bottled.

Besides Khairy, others present were Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba; Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong; Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.  China’s ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing was also there.

Malaysia is scheduled to obtain 14 million doses of CoronaVac in stages.