PUTRAJAYA: Science, Technology and Innovation Minister (Mosti) Khairy Jamaluddin will be the first person in the country to receive the Sinovac vaccine (Coronavac) when it arrives in the country this month.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the ministry’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has given conditional approval for the use of the vaccine developed by China.
“Once the Sinovac vaccine enters the country, YB Mosti Minister will be the first person to be administered with it. The (Sinovac) vaccine is safe and of quality,” he said during the weekly virtual press conference on the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) here today.
Khairy said the next shipment of 100,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine is scheduled to arrive in the country on March 15 and another 100,000 doses from the same pharmaceutical company will arrive four days later.
“It may take some time for the NPRA to release it after inspection when it arrives in the country.
“Perhaps, by the third week of this month, I will able to speak fluently in Mandarin (after being administered with the Sinovac vaccine),” said Khairy in jest.
On other matters, Dr Adham said the ministry was still waiting confirmation on the haj and umrah quota involving Malaysian pilgrims.
“We are also waiting for confirmation (from the government) if Malaysian pilgrims will be allowed to perform the haj at the holy cities.
“We expect the quota involving Malaysian pilgrims to be between 30,000 and 50,000 people, while vaccination would be carried out at the vaccination centres operated by the ministry,” he said.
Dr Adham was asked to comment on the requirements by the Saudi government, which only allowed people who have been vaccinated to attend the haj this year.