After several months of waiting, Malaysia has received its first batch of CanSino vaccines from China. Unlike existing vaccines that are being administered under Malaysia’s National Immunisation Programme, the CanSino vaccine only requires a single dose instead of two. This is seen as a game-changer to speed up vaccinations.
200,000 doses have arrived
200,00 doses of the CanSino COVID-19 vaccine have arrived from China today. These are a part of the 3.5mil doses that we have ordered. Delivery will be in stages.— Vaksin COVID-19 🇲🇾 (@JKJAVMY) August 20, 2021
This is also the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia. pic.twitter.com/F8uQ1Ud4Jb
This morning a total of 200,000 vaccine doses have arrived and Malaysia has procured a total of 3.5 million doses which can innoculate 3.5 million people. These vaccines will be used to vaccinate residents in rural and hard to reach areas where it is challenging to arrange for 2nd dose appointments. It can also be used to vaccinate foreigners and migrants as well.
It was reported earlier that 30,000 doses will be sent to Semporna in Sabah to vaccinate residents living on several islands. The Health District officer Dr Shameer Khan Sulaiman shared that vaccinating residents with two-dose vaccines are plagued with logistical and communication problems as trips to the islands can take 2 hours by boat. A single-dose vaccine would make it more convenient for both healthcare workers and islanders.
Viral Vector type vaccine
The CanSino vaccine which is also known as Convidecia uses adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine technology and it has an efficacy rate of 65.7%. Similar to Sinovac and AstraZeneca, it doesn’t have extreme refrigeration requirements and can be stored between 2 to 8 degrees celsius.
28 days to be considered fully vaccinated
Although getting a single shot vaccine has its timesaving benefits, do note that the time frame required to be considered “fully vaccinated” is different. A person that received a single-shot vaccine will only be counted as fully vaccinated 28 days after receiving the injection. As a comparison, a person getting two doses is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after getting their second dose.
Overall, if you factor in the interval time between two doses for vaccines such as Pfizer, Sinovac and Astrazeneca, getting a single-shot vaccine to obtain optimal protection is still faster as a person is fully vaccinated 4 weeks after getting a single jab. The longest wait is for individuals with AstraZeneca as it has a longer interval time of 9 weeks between the 1st and 2nd dose, followed by another 2-week window to be counted as fully vaccinated.
Besides CanSino, Malaysia has also included the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the NIP. The Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be delivered via the global COVAX facility but there’s still no timelines at the moment. Both vaccines have been given conditional approval by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) in June this year.