Malaysia expects delay in Thailand-made AstraZeneca


THE delivery for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines produced by Thai biopharmaceuticals manufacturer, Siam Bioscience Co Ltd, is expected to be delayed, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP), said despite the delay, the government has been trying to secure Malaysia’s supply for June.

“Yes, we are expecting some delays. I’ve been on calls with AstraZeneca itself as well as other governments to ensure we can secure our supply for this month,” he told reporters during a virtual press conference today.

Previously, Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia should be receiving 610,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines in June and another 410,000 doses in July while 1.2 million doses are expected between August and September.

AstraZeneca plc has been working with Siam BioScience to produce and distribute vaccines across Southeast Asia.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has been granted conditional marketing authorisation for emergency use in more than 70 countries, with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Emergency Use Listing accelerating access in up to 142 countries through the COVAX facility.

For the Pfizer-BioNTech, Khairy Jamaluddin said 444,600 doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive between June 9 and June 11, bringing the cumulative doses Malaysia had received from Pfizer to 3.64 million doses.

For Sinovac, 316,680 doses of the vaccine had received the lot release approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) in addition to 318,280 fill-and-finish doses and 500,000 finished-good doses received on June 8 will be sent to vaccination centres this week, Khairy Jamaluddin said.

Excluding the approved lot release on June 8 and June 9, Malaysia has received a total of 1.97 million doses from Sinovac Biotech Ltd.