KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Pharmaniaga Berhad (Pharmaniaga) clarified today that supplies of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine were not stopped, but rather that the company has fulfilled the federal government’s 12 million dose order.
In a statement, the pharmaceutical giant said news reports yesterday were misleading as many had got the message wrong, adding that it was still ready to supply more vaccines should the need arise.
Pharmaniaga was contracted by the government to supply 12 million vaccine doses by way of the ‘Fill and Finish’ method by 2021 but it will fulfil that obligation by July 21, 2021 instead, four months ahead of schedule.
“As Covid-19 cases started to rise in March 2021, we took proactive steps to fulfil all the orders by importing readymade vaccines to distribute along with our ‘Fill and Finish’ orders.
“The supply of the 12 million vaccines was broken down into six million for the first dose and six million for the second dose. Seeing as most states were already done administering their first dose, orders were given to us to start administering the second dose.
“This was to avoid going over the six million mark for first doses in order to avoid shortage for those who need their second dose,” the statement read.
The company said if the government needed more Sinovac vaccines, it would welcome the opportunity to be the suppliers. In the meantime, it will continue to supply states with the vaccines.
Pharmaniaga is the sole distributor of the China-made Sinovac vaccine in Malaysia. Its share prices dipped yesterday following reports the company was to stop administering it.
The Health Ministry also said that the Kelantan State Health Department has stopped supplying Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine shots there since there is ample supply of Pfizer shots.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba in a press conference yesterday said the decision to stop administering Sinovac was mainly down to vaccine supply, and that other states will follow suit and rely mainly on Pfizer.