PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin became the first person in Malaysia to receive China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday (March 18).
Mr Khairy, who is also the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, got the shot at the Vaccination Centre at Rembau Hospital in Pedas, Negeri Sembilan.
"I just received my first dose of the Sinovac vaccine," he wrote on his Facebook. "This marks the first official roll-out of Sinovac vaccine in Malaysia."
The Rembau Member of Parliament said he chose the China-made vaccine to combat "selective vaccine hesitancy".
"The public does not need to feel hesitant with the Sinovac vaccine. It has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing Covid-19 and it has been used in 27 countries such as China, the UAE, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil," said Mr Khairy.
On Feb 27, Mr Khairy said he wanted whichever Covid-19 vaccine is approved after Pfizer's to counter the mindset of individuals who are hesitant about certain vaccines.
"There are those who prefer the Pfizer vaccine, and those who really want the Sinovac one. Some medical practitioners have said that the Sinovac vaccine uses the traditional inactivated virus platform. That's how the old vaccines used to work and that's tried and tested.
"Some have said the mRNA technology (behind Pfizer's vaccine) is good because the efficacy rate is high. These are views we have to listen to but the government's position is to take whatever vaccine the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has approved.
"That's why I have offered myself to take whatever vaccine the NPRA approves after Pfizer. If it's Sinovac, it will be Sinovac. If it's the Russian vaccine, it will be the Russian vaccine. If it's the AstraZeneca one, it will be that," he was quoted as saying.