Pharmaniaga pledges 12m Sinovac vaccines supply by July

It will also readily provide the supply to state govts wishing to expedite their own Covid-19 immunisation programme


PHARMANIAGA Bhd expects to complete its contractual obligation of supplying 12 million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to the federal government by July, to cover some 18% of Malaysia’s population.

In a statement yesterday, Pharmaniaga group MD Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the group will also readily provide the vaccine to state governments that wish to expedite their own Covid-19 immunisation programme.

“We will ensure an effective provision and distribution of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine supply to the private market and state governments while not disrupting its existing contractual obligation with the federal government,” he said during the group’s virtual 23rd AGM and EGM yesterday.

Pharmaniaga’s future plans to expand into non-government contracts also mark a strong repositioning that will strengthen its foothold in the private market.

Pharmaniaga has embarked on an initiative to supply the Sinovac vaccine to the state governments and the private sector in order to complement the federal government’s effort to achieve herd immunity and economic recovery at a faster pace.

The key focus is aimed at economic frontliners within the government-linked companies and private firms, as well as among foreign workers and expatriates in this country.

Zulkarnain said the Sinovac vaccine has recently been approved by the World Health Organisation and the recognition is a boost of confidence in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“China Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval for Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for children aged between three and 17, as well as manufacturing of two-dose per vial, recently.

“We are very pleased with this new development and shall be submitting the relevant documents to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for variation process. Upon obtaining the approval, we will be able to ramp up our capacity from two million to four million doses a month.”

As part of the long-term sustainability plan, Zulkarnain said the group aims to accelerate the growth of the halal vaccine manufacturing business with various types of vaccine development projects.

“Our plans to establish the world’s first halal vaccine facility are progressing well, in close collaboration with Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Halal Development Corp Bhd.

“The halal vaccine project has been selected as a pioneer initiative for policy and incentive development purposes.”

The facility is targeted to start operating in 2024 and aims to create a new revenue stream for the group while generating multiple positive spillover benefits, including improving our nation’s pandemic preparedness towards cultivating a sustainable vaccine supply chain.

It will also provide opportunities for upskilling local talent while increasing access to affordable vaccines for both local and international markets. This will subsequently position Malaysia as a global vaccine manufacturer.

Pharmaniaga chairman Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said in line with the AGM’s theme of Protecting the Nation, the group has proven resilient in a year with uncertain economic situations.

“We continued to future-proof the business through IR4.0 technologies embedded within our operations, in tandem with various key strategies in place. We shall also embrace modernisation in our processes with the strong inclusion of digitalisation in our journey for greater excellence.

“Pharmaniaga has shown tremendous effort in making sure there is no interruption to its operations and distribution of medical supplies and vaccines to the government, and now the private sector. We look forward, and aim, to sustaining the performance into 2021 while pursuing growth opportunities,” he said.

During the AGM and EGM, the group received a positive reception from its shareholders, and thanked for the continuous support and their virtual presence. The shareholders approved all the ordinary resolutions proposed.