Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today said that the Chinese made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine will be included among Malaysia’s portfolio of vaccines that will be used for those above the age of 60 in Phase 2 of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme scheduled to start on April 19.
The Chinese-made vaccine along with US’ Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is among the doses that will be utilised in Phase 2 with Khairy reiterating both vaccines are safe to use for all.
While Pfizer’s vaccine reportedly had a high efficacy rate, Khairy said that the Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) had reviewed the data on the Sinovac vaccine and it also showed that it has a high efficacy rate against severe and moderate cases of COVID-19.
“The committee has reviewed the data and we have decided to use the Sinovac for senior citizens. Based on the Brazil trials the secondary efficacy against moderate and severe cases of COVID-19 for the Sinovac vaccine was 83.7 per cent for moderate cases and 100 per cent for severe cases,’’ he said during a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba this afternoon.
Phase 2 of the massive National Immunisation Programme will prioritise those above the age of 60, persons with disabilities (PwDs) and those with chronic diseases.
Khairy said as 80 per cent of COVID-19 mortality in the country were those aged above 60, the Sinovac vaccine as well as other vaccines, will help provide protection for these targeted groups.
“So, we can give them 100 per cent protection against severe cases of COVID-19 which the Sinovac vaccine does perform and provide,” he said.
Khairy was responding to question by the press on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccines and its usage for senior citizens in the country after news broke that the director of the Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Gao Fu said the country was considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines since currently available vaccines “don’t have very high rates of protection.”
However, Gao said in a later interview that his comments were “completely misunderstood.”
Khairy explained that Malaysia had received 1.2 million doses of vaccine for Phase 1, with a majority being from Pfizer-BioNTech and 200,000 from Sinovac.
Khairy himself had recently completed his second dose of the Sinovac vaccine. — Malay Mail
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