KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — The government has identified two local pharmaceutical companies to fill and finish the COVID-19 vaccine once it is made available. Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin agreed that the facilities owned by Duopharma Biotech Bhd and Pharmaniaga should be used for the purpose, as it would speed up the delivery process of the vaccine.
“We will buy from vaccine makers from abroad, whether it be China, the US (United States of America) or UK (United Kingdom)… we will buy in bulk, bring it back to Malaysia and we will bottle it.
“If we were to wait for the fill and finish process from abroad, it will take a long time, so this is the only option available,” he said during a press conference in the Parliament lobby here, today.
He earlier attended the second meeting of the National Science Council chaired by Muhyiddin.
Commenting further, Khairy said he had personally visited both the production facilities and found that they had the capacity to carry out the bottling process.
“They are the two companies that have accredited fill and finish capabilities in Malaysia. The Duopharma fill and finish facility is not being used but Pharmaniaga’s is being used. However, they told us they are willing to prioritise COVID-19 when the vaccine is available.
“If the vaccine is suitable (to be bottled) with the facilities we have… meaning our facilities can fill and finish the inactivated vaccines, so if the successful vaccine is an inactivated one, we can fill and finish it here without a huge investment,” he said.
Khairy added that the government was also ready to offer the service to other countries.
“For example, we will work with Correlation of Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation to offer our fill and finish facility for other countries that don’t have the facility once we have done it for our people,” he said.