by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BLOOMBERG
VACCINES produced by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer Inc have a 95% success rate in preventing the Covid-19 infection, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.
He told Dewan Rakyat that Malaysia’s procurement of the vaccine is based on an interim report of clinical trials published in The New England Journal of Medicine, of which the government had access to the data to assess its quality, safety and level of effectiveness.
“The vaccine has also received the Emergency Use Authorization from seven countries including the UK, the US, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Singapore.
“However, the decision to use Pfizer’s vaccine in Malaysia is still subject to registration and approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“This process has begun and all data supplied by Pfizer will be reviewed by NPRA,” he said today.
He was responding to a query by Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) on the costs, the efficacy, and the population coverage of the Pfizer vaccine particularly the immunity period of the vaccine and when will the plan to vaccinate the people be implemented.
The government, through the Health Ministry, has signed a preliminary purchasing agreement with Pfizer to obtain 12.8 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to supply immunisation for 6.4 million Malaysians or 20% of the country’s population.
Malaysia is expected to receive Pfizer vaccines in the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21).
The country is also procuring the Covid-19 vaccine through the COVAX Facility through the Optional Purchase Arrangement, which will supply doses for 10% of Malaysia’s population.