Malaysian Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Friday (16/7), said his country would soon allow the commercial sale of Sinopharm and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines. This was decided when the government tried to increase the vaccination program amid soaring COVID-19 cases. Malaysia has one of the highest per capita numbers of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia, but also has one of the fastest vaccination rates.
Reuters citing Khairy, reported the Sinopharm vaccine – which Malaysia approved on Friday (16/7) for emergency use – will soon be sold for private purchase.
Meanwhile, Sinovac’s vaccine will be available to the public from August 1, after the government takes delivery of about 15 million doses, he said.
Malaysia on Friday (16/7) reported 12,541 cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the total infections to 893,323, including 6,728 deaths.
Malaysia previously said it would stop administering Sinovac’s vaccine once out of stock, and would instead rely heavily on Pfizer’s vaccine for its national vaccination programme.
On Friday (16/7), Khairy clarified that the excess Sinovac vaccine will remain available for those who may have allergy problems with other vaccines.
“There is no problem with the efficacy of Sinovac,” he said.
Malaysia will also consider buying more doses from Sinovac in case of a shortage of AstraZeneca vaccine from neighboring Thailand, Khairy said. [ah]