Malaysia approves China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use

Malaysia has fully vaccinated 12.3 per cent, or four million of its population. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's Health Ministry said on Friday (July 16) that it has granted conditional approval for emergency use to the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm.

The Sinopharm vaccine in Malaysia was registered by pharmaceutical company Duopharma, Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.

Duopharma had previously announced a deal to supply the Malaysian government with 6.4 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ministry's announcement on Sinopharm.

The authorities have also granted conditional approval to the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine made by US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and manufactured in Belgium, Dr Noor Hisham said.

Malaysia had earlier approved another batch of Janssen vaccines that had been given the green light for emergency use by the World Health Organisation.

In a news conference on Thursday, Health Minister Adham Baba announced Malaysia's decision to stop administering the Sinovac vaccine beyond its current stock, citing the sufficient supply of vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech.

Dr Baba said the decision to stop administering the Chinese-manufactured Sinovac doses was mainly down to vaccine supplies. The South-east Asian country has secured enough Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses to cover 70 per cent of the population, compared with 16 million doses of Sinovac's shot.

Malaysia has fully vaccinated 12.3 per cent, or four million, of its 32 million population. At least 26.5 per cent of the population has received at least one dose, officials say.

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