Malaysians Wanting Sinovac Boosters Must Pay For It
Pharmaniaga says it will start supplying Sinovac Covid-19 booster doses at selected private hospitals and clinics for the private market soon.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Pharmaniaga Berhad said today it would begin supplying Sinovac Covid-19 booster vaccines in the private market, after regulators yesterday approved a third shot for those initially vaccinated with Sinovac.
Pharmaniaga’s statement means that people who had received two doses of the Chinese inactivated vaccine will need to pay for an additional Sinovac jab at selected private hospitals or clinics under the private booster vaccination programme.
Boosters with Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine are offered for free to eligible individuals — such as those aged 40 and older and frontline workers — under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) that is currently being run at private clinics managed by ProtectHealth Corporation, a Ministry of Health (MOH) owned company, as well as at public health care facilities.
The government is offering Pfizer booster shots to those who initially received two doses of the same mRNA vaccine, as well as to individuals double vaccinated with Sinovac in a “mix-and-match” approach.
Pharmaniaga managing director Zulkarnain Md Eusope said today the Sinovac vaccine will be made available at “selected private hospitals and clinics, as an option for individuals who wish to have the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine booster dose for themselves”.
“This list will be shared on Pharmaniaga’s official website,” he said.
Malaysia’s approach towards Sinovac booster vaccines appears to follow Singapore that only made Sinovac available in selected private health care facilities with vaccination administration fees, as the Singaporean government primarily rolled out Pfizer and Moderna, both mNRA vaccines.
Singapore only announced last October 30 that the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine would be included in its National Vaccination Programme for adults who are unable to get vaccinated with mRNA vaccines, after Singapore’s health authorities issued interim authorisation for Sinovac. The vaccination would be free of charge.
Pharmaniaga to offer Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine booster shot soon
November 05, 2021 19:04 pm +08
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 5): Pharmaniaga Bhd has offered the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to cater to those who prefer to take this brand of vaccine as their booster shot.
In a statement, Pharmaniaga group Managing Director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the company is in the final stages of discussion to register the vaccine as a booster shot with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), and expects it to be approved very soon.
“We hope once NPRA approves the application, the government will give the green light for the vaccine to be administered as a booster shot for Sinovac recipients.
“The majority of Sinovac recipients received their second dose between June and September. As such, the requirement for a booster shot will start from December onwards and we have enough doses to cater to the needs of the nation,” he said, adding that the vaccine will also be made available for the private market.
According to Zulkarnain, Pharmaniaga had previously supplied more than 22 million doses of Sinovac vaccine to MOH and the private sector. Thus there are about 11 million Sinovac recipients requiring the booster shot.
“The Sinovac Covid-19 booster shot has been approved and used in China, Turkey, Chile, Indonesia and Cambodia. Six other countries are waiting for approval from their respective regulatory authority,” said Zulkarnain in a statement on Friday.
Last month, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said his Ministry has decided to administer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to individuals who have completed two-dose vaccinations of Sinovac vaccine at least three months ago. The Sinovac recipients will be given heterologous booster shots of Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine in stages from Oct 22.
However, according to news reports, Johor Democratic Action Party (DAP) leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau said at least 20% of Sinovac recipients are rejecting the Pfizer booster shots as they prefer the same vaccine for their third dose.
Pharmaniaga said a recent real-world study in Chile and an immunogenicity test done in Turkey shows three doses of Sinovac is better than mixing with different vaccines as a booster.
“Research results conducted at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, and Sinovac Biotech Co Ltd (Sinovac), show a third dose of Sinovac would boost immune response as early as seven days after the booster dose, with longer persistence of antibodies,” it said.
It also said, citing Sinovac Oversea Business Senior Director Weining Meng in a recent webinar, that a booster shot given at an interval of six to 12 months after the second dose would lead to a strong boost in immune response, with neutralising antibody titers increasing to about 20 times in adults and even higher in elderly aged above 60 years. “The booster shot is also highly effective in the prevention against the deadly Delta and other variants,” said Pharmaniaga.