27 February 2021
Malaysia’s first batch of the CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at around 9am today.
The 200-litre bulk consignment meant to be processed into 300,000 vaccine doses was flown in by MASKargo, operated by Malaysia Airlines Flight MH319, from vaccine developer Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd’s Beijing plant.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry said the delivery today is the first batch of 14 million doses Malaysia is slated to receive from the Chinese pharmaceutical company.
The bulk supply, which would be filled and finished by Pharmaniaga Bhd into vaccine doses, is to immunise 22 per cent of the Malaysian population.
Present for the arrival were China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Ouyang Yujing, four local ministers, and Pharmaniaga board members.
The ministers present were Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (who is also the Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme); Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein; Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob; and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 Immunisation Programme kicked off on Wednesday, Feb 24, with priority given to frontliners.
CoronaVac was secured through a supply agreement involving 14 million doses inked between Pharmaniaga and Sinovac.
The vaccine joins the 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received so far. The doses, which arrived last Friday, have, among others, seen Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah being inoculated.
Malaysia today took delivery of the Sinovac vaccine, another brand of the Covid-19 vaccine it has procured, almost a week after it received the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. – NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH