Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Govt to sign vaccine procurement deal with Johnson & Johnson

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin says clinical information on the vaccine so far has been positive.

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The government will sign a Covid-19 vaccine procurement contract with Johnson & Johnson from the US soon, says Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said so far, clinical information on the vaccine had been positive, and based on the recommendation of the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), the Cabinet decided to purchase the vaccine.

“We are still in the discussion process and I understand that Health Minister Dr Adham Baba will soon sign a contract for Malaysia to procure the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

“Only after that will we send the vaccine to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for evaluation,” he said at a press conference today, adding that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.

On two-dose vaccines, Khairy said under the JKJAV policy, the second dose of vaccine would be safely stored for those who have received the first dose.

“We are following the suggestion of vaccine supplier, Pfizer, that the second dose be given 21 days after the first.

“We do not want to take the UK’s approach of extending the time for the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from one month to nine or up to 12 weeks,” he added.

The two-dose vaccines are produced by companies such as Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd (Sinovac) and CanSinoBIO, while the one-dose type comes from Sputnik V, besides Johnson & Johnson.

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