KUALA LUMPUR: After winning the contract to supply millions of doses of CoronaVac, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Life Sciences of China, to the Health Ministry (MoH), Pharmaniaga Bhd is now also looking to supply the vaccines to the private sector and government-linked companies (GLCs) in the second half of the year.
However, the pharmaceutical group’s main priority is to supply the vaccines to the government first and then only channel the supply to the private sector, GLCs, expatriates and foreign workers, said its group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope.
“We want to assist the government to supply the Covid-19 vaccines to GLCs such as Petronas, the banking sector, Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
“These companies are the economic drivers of the country and we will look into accommodating the vaccination programme to these big organisations, ” he said at a media briefing.
Last week, Pharmaniaga’s unit, Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn Bhd (PLS), bagged the contract from MoH to supply 12 million doses by April this year.
Zulkarnain explained that the 12 million doses supply is slated to be completed by October this year, with two million doses per month to be supplied to the government.
Currently, the pharmaceutical group is waiting to obtain the approval for CoronaVac from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
The group submitted its application for registration with NPRA on Jan 19.
On a positive note, Zulkarnain expects Pharmaniaga to get the green light from NPRA in the next one month.
“With NPRA, it is a very rigorous and stringent process.
“Our expectation is that we would get the approval from NPRA hopefully by the end of February or early March, ” he said.
Once the vaccine is approved, the group will carry out the fill and finish process at its high-tech plant for the Covid-19 vaccines.
Zulkarnain reiterated the group’s plan to develop its own halal vaccines and in turn, export it to countries in South-East Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. “We want Malaysia to be the hub for producing halal vaccines, ” he pointed out.