by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by BERNAMA
PHARMANIAGA Bhd is in discussion with Sinovac Biotech Ltd to export the Sinovac vaccine to other countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand and African countries.
Its group MD Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said such countries are in dire need of vaccines as they could not get their orders on time or could not secure an adequate supply of vaccines to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Pharmaniaga is lucky because we planned ahead to make sure there are enough vaccines for the federal government, extra supplies for state governments and the private sector (at the time Sinovac was not yet approved by the World Health Organisation).
“Sinovac rollout all over the world but they told us they cannot cover all the countries, hence, they want our expertise to supply. This is the strategy we are going forward with and of course, it will impact our revenue and profitability if we can sell the Sinovac vaccine to foreign countries,” he told reporters last Friday.
He said Pharmaniaga has always engaged with Sinovac on the best distribution method of the vaccines all over the world.
“Only six countries are entrusted to undertake the fill-and-finish, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Chile and Egypt.
“We are looking at how we can partner with Sinovac not only to produce Covid-19 vaccine in our country but also other countries. Our partnership with Sinovac since 2018 covers other vaccines,” he added.
Zulkarnain stressed the main thing now is to make sure all Malaysians are vaccinated as the local population is its highest priority.
“The total demand for the Sinovac vaccine from the seven states (Pahang, Perak, Sarawak, Sabah, Johor and Negri Sembilan) was five to six million doses, with Selangor having made the highest application at almost 2.5 million doses.
“We have various bookings in the country such as for state governments which the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) has given permission to make early deliveries and to speed up the vaccination process, particularly in Selangor due to the high number of cases in the state,” he said.
To buy the Sinovac vaccine from Pharmaniaga, he said the state government needs to obtain approval from the JKJAV to ensure that they meet the stipulated conditions.
“The state government needs to have pharmaceutical companies, as well as licences and at the same time have sufficient number of trained doctors and nurses.
“The ceiling price and sales guidelines for the Sinovac vaccine by private parties have been set and will be announced by the government this week,” he added.
Pharmaniaga has supplied 12 million doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to the government and the final batch was supplied on July 21, which was four-and-a-half months earlier than the original contractual schedule.
Zulkarnain said after the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency’s approval, the fill-and-finish production of the Sinovac vaccine reached four million doses per month compared to two million doses previously.
“For June until September, our fill-and-finish will produce 14 million doses. With these doses available, we can move simultaneously to supply to the government, the private sector or the state governments to ensure the vaccination process runs smoothly,” he explained.
National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said Pharmaniaga is allowed to sell its Sinovac vaccine in the open market as it has fulfilled its commitment to the government.
Pharmaniaga shares ended the trading week at 88.5 sen.