Malaysia conditionally approves Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine for teens aged 12 to 17

Secondary school students waiting to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at a school in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Sept 20, 2021.
Secondary school students waiting to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at a school in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Sept 20, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia has given conditional approval for a Covid-19 vaccine made by China's Sinovac to be used on young people aged between 12 and 17, its health ministry said on Friday (Oct 1).

Teenagers younger than 18 began receiving Covid-19 doses last month, after vaccinations of more than 80 per cent of adults were completed in one of South-east Asia's fastest vaccine roll-outs that has covered 62 per cent of a population of 32 million.

In a statement, the health ministry said Malaysia's drugs regulator advised priority for Sinovac's product among teenagers without comorbidities or allergy problems, or otherwise deemed unsuitable for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In July, Malaysia said it would stop giving the Sinovac shot when supplies ran out, as it had enough of other vaccines for the national campaign.

Malaysia has continued to receive additional shipments, however.

This week, the foreign ministry said China had agreed to donate a million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, following a donation of 500,000 in July.