Pharmaniaga confident of meeting targeted demand for Sinovac vaccine

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10  -- Pharmaniaga Bhd is confident of meeting the targeted vaccine demand of 120,000 shots per day, according to its deputy managing director Mohamed Iqbal Abdul Rahman.

He said the company was able to produce two million doses of the ‘CoronaVac’ vaccine made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd (Sinovac).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba had previously said the government was looking to give 210 shots per day in each location nationwide.

"If it goes well, 120,000 injections can be carried out daily at all 600 vaccination centres.

“Pharmaniaga has invested a total of RM3 million to increase its existing capacity, and is ready to increase its investment if there is high demand for the CoronaVac vaccine," he said on the ‘Ruang Bicara’ programme aired on Bernama TV, tonight.

He also expressed hope that the company would get approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) by April to enable the company to distribute the CoronaVac vaccine in Malaysia.

Pharmaniaga has signed an agreement with Sinovac to supply 14 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, with the fill and finish process carried out at its high-tech factory in Puchong, Selangor.

The company has also signed an agreement to supply 12 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Meanwhile, the company's Logistics and Distribution director Abdul Malik Mohamed said with 26 years of experience, the company was ready and confident of managing the supply of the Sinovac vaccine as soon as it arrived in the country.

He said the company had a main warehouse facility equipped with a cold room to store the vaccines, in addition to other support systems in case of a power outage.

"We also have a good 'backbone' in terms of distribution, a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) which is continuously being enhanced, as well as over 400 skilled workers operating the logistics system with warehouses in five strategic locations, namely two in the Klang Valley, one in the north (of the Peninsula) and one each in Sabah and Sarawak.

"To ensure the distribution can be done in a fast and accurate manner, our transportation system is also equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, where we can track the position of our vehicles so that supplies are received on time," he said.

Abdul Malik said there should also be good coordination between vaccine providers and healthcare facilities to avoid stockpiling and wastage.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was previously quoted as saying that the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme was the largest vaccination programme ever implemented in Malaysia, with the roll-out expected by the end of this month.

He said the cabinet had also agreed to appoint Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar as the coordinating minister for the vaccination programme, and the latter would lead a special task force in implementing specific programmes in terms of logistics and coordination with the respective states and government agencies.





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