SEPANG, Aug 20 — Malaysia today received the first batch of the China-made single-dose CanSino COVID-19 vaccine to boost the momentum of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), especially in rural areas.
A total of 200,000 doses of CanSino vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics Inc from China arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here at about 8.45 am via Malaysia Airlines flight MH361.
The COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), in a statement today, said the 200,000 doses of the “finished product” vaccine were part of the 3.5 million doses of CanSino vaccine that had been ordered by Malaysia for delivery to the country in stages.
“This vaccine supply will further intensify PICK, especially in the low-access areas, and will help Malaysia to achieve the herd immunity as targeted in the National Recovery Plan within the set time,” it said.
Present to receive the vaccine at KLIA were Energy. Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) secretary-general Datuk Ir Dr. Siti Hamisah Tapsir and Health Ministry (MOH) secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah.
Solution Biologics Sdn Bhd (SOLBIO), a subsidiary of Solution Group Bhd (SGB), had on July 30 this year, signed a finished product and a bulk product agreement with CanSino Biologics Inc for the supply of the Recombinant Ad5-nCoV vaccine.
Both agreements allowed SOLBIO to supply 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Health Ministry and accept additional orders from the ministry, state governments, the private sector and other ASEAN countries.
The CanSino vaccine was given conditional approval for emergency use in Malaysia by the Drug Control Authority (DCA) last June 15.
On June 17, then Coordinating Minister for PICK, Khairy Jamaluddin was reported to have said that the CanSino vaccine would be offered to states with hard-to-access rural areas such as Pahang, Sabah, and Sarawak.
With the single-dose vaccine, health workers will not have to enter the rural areas for a second time to complete the vaccination to recipients, he said.
Currently, Malaysia uses the two-dose vaccines of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca types. The CanSino single-dose vaccine will be the latest to be used under PICK.