KUALA LUMPUR: The price of Sinovac vaccine developed by China is expected to be cheaper when the fill and finish process is carried out in Malaysia, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.
He said the price to purchase the vaccine was approved by the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after a three-hour proceedings with PAC last week.
He said the vaccine which is expected to meet the needs of 22 per cent of the people in the country would be distributed at the end of March.
“The price (of the vaccine) that we purchase from Pharmaniaga is way cheaper than the purchase of the finished product from China. This is because the fill and finish process will be carried out in Malaysia and we are going to get a good price out of this.
“We indeed support this procurement strategy as we do not just buy vaccine and we want to encourage technology transfer and local manufacturing capacity for the future so this is the opportunity for us to buy at a good price.
“Overall, I am happy with the price and it is fair,” he said at the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Agreement Signing Ceremony between Pharmaniaga Bhd subsidiary and Sinovac.
The Rembau member of parliament was one of the witnesses of the agreement signing besides Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health Ministry Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He also said the government is in consideration and in the final process to sign the vaccine purchasing agreement between Sinovac and Pharmaniaga.
“We hope to finalise the agreement by end of next week and with this, the government will procure about 14 million doses of vaccines for 22 per cent of our people, from Sinovac through Pharmaniaga.”
Commenting on why Indonesia was the first country to receive the vaccination programme from China, Khairy clarified that the counterpart country has its own clinical trials and Malaysia does not have such a facility.
He said with such data that Indonesia has, the process to procure process for the vaccine ahead of Malaysia was easy.
“Malaysia is going to be the first to secure the supply. People have been asking why Indonesia got it first for the vaccination programme.
“Do have in mind that Indonesia is the site of the clinical trials, so was Brazil and Turkey. These countries have their own clinical trial facility and that is why they can obtain the vaccines first. We do not have such a facility.
“Indonesia received the vaccines first as they carried out the phase three of the clinical trials and they have the data,” he said.
Source: New Straits Times