Sinopharm vaccine now available in Malaysia

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by TMR FILE

THE Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine is now available at general practitioners (GPs) and private hospitals in Malaysia, according to Duopharma Biotech Bhd.

In a statement today, the group said its wholly-owned unit Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd has been authorised as Sinopharm’s registration holder and to engage in the sales and distribution of the vaccine in the country.

Earlier, Duopharma Biotech had entered into an agreement to import the vaccine from Beijing, China, covering a collaboration for the Malaysian market. 

The group noted that the first shipment of the vaccine arrived in batches in September 2021 and it is now widely available at clinics and private hospitals nationwide.

The Sinopharm vaccine is currently indicated for use in individuals aged 18 to 59 years.

“The vaccine is administered in two separate doses for each person, which will be required for the recipient to be considered fully vaccinated.

“The vaccine is packaged in 0.5ml vials, which is one dose. This helps prevent wastage as the medical personnel is able to finish the entire vial when administering one dose for one person. It is also convenient as they do not need to spend time measuring out several doses from one vial,” it said.

Meanwhile, Duopharma said with a shelf life of 24 months, the Sinopharm vaccine is appropriate for longer term vaccination efforts.

It added that the vaccine’s cold chain storage is also straightforward, at a standard conventional storage temperature of 2°C to 8°C. 

Duopharma Biotech Group MD Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar said the group is glad that Malaysia has managed to achieve a very high level of vaccination among adults and is making good progress among adolescents.

“The challenge in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic requires collaboration and coordination at all levels. 

“Duopharma Biotech is committed to supporting the government’s vaccination programme and augmenting the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP), by expanding vaccine distribution channels to ensure full vaccine coverage in Malaysia,” he added.

Previously, in July 2021, the Drug Control Authority (DCA) had approved the conditional registration of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for use in Malaysia. 

The vaccine is also included in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) emergency use listing (EUL) and is approved for emergency use in over 65 countries including in various European Union countries, with more than 100 million doses supplied worldwide.

According to Duopharma, administration of the vaccine is fully integrated into the national immunisation system, where the vaccines are tracked based on the Vaccine Management System provided by the Ministry of Health, with real-time integration of both MyVAS and the MySejahtera app. 

Vaccinees receiving their first and second doses will immediately have these recorded on their MySejahtera accounts, and will also receive their digital certificate accordingly.

For vaccination of large groups, such as the workforce in manufacturing facilities, Duopharma Biotech, via collaboration with healthcare organisers, provides private vaccination services as well as mobile vaccine clinics, which is supported by a team of medical professionals, paramedics, site managers and an operations and administration team. 

Healthcare providers interested to procure the Sinopharm vaccine or corporations wishing to arrange for vaccination may contact Duopharma Biotech’s Customer Service for enquiries via email at [email protected]