KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Kelantan will use Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to inoculate the rest of its population against Covid-19 from July 18, according to a state directive.
Kelantan health department director Dr Zaini Hussin, in an internal circular dated July 13 sighted by CodeBlue, said the state will no longer receive Sinovac vaccine doses from the central government at the end of this month and will instead get the Pfizer shot. Sinovac will only be administered as second doses starting Sunday.
“Sinovac will no longer be given as the first dose at Kelantan vaccination centres (PPV) from that date,” Dr Zaini said.
He confirmed the veracity of the memo to Harian Metro earlier, but did not elaborate. The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) declined comment when contacted by CodeBlue.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba confirmed today that the federal government will no longer send Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines to Kelantan — which will also occur in other states — as most of the Sinovac doses ordered by the government have already gone into arms, but will rely on increased Pfizer supply instead. Pfizer comprises 70 per cent of the federal government’s Covid-19 vaccine orders.
According to him, the federal government has ordered 45.7 million Pfizer and 15.9 million Sinovac doses.
Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin last month said Kelantan will also get portions of China’s CanSino vaccine once it arrives later this month. The single-dose CanSino and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were given conditional approval for emergency use in May. Malaysia has yet to receive delivery of Johnson & Johnson.
Yesterday, Pharmaniaga Bhd said it has delivered 11.5 million of 12.4 million Sinovac doses ordered by the federal government. The entire order is expected to be fully delivered by the end of this month, four months ahead of the original agreement.
To date, the local pharmaceutical company has delivered 11.5 million doses, comprising 3.6 million through its fill-and-finish facility and 7.9 million of the finished product procured directly from Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s factory in Beijing, China.
At the same time, the federal government will also receive a total of 6,429,150 Pfizer doses, including 1,000,350 doses contributed by the United States on July 5, this month. Khairy told Australian media that Malaysia expects to receive delivery of 25 million Pfizer doses between this month and September.
As of July 14, a total of 12,647,558 people, or 26.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total population have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, while 12.3 per cent have been fully vaccinated.