KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- My E.G. Services Bhd has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase 10 million doses of Anhui Zhifei Biopharmaceutical Co Ltd’s COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring that the corresponding quantity of its recombinant protein subunit vaccine is reserved for delivery as early as August.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, MYEG said it holds three-year rights to exclusively distribute the vaccine in Malaysia while through a separate partnership, the group has two-year exclusive distribution rights to the vaccine in the Philippines and is presently in discussions to distribute in other countries.
"Last week, MYEG announced plans for the roll-out of a vaccination programme in the Philippines that will cover the provision of the vaccines to the public health segment as well as private sales,” it said.
The LOI is to ensure that the corresponding quantity of Zhifei’s recombinant protein subunit vaccine is reserved for delivery as early as August when vaccination through the private market is enabled.
"This paves the way for the vaccine to be imported and made available to Malaysians as soon as the private market commences and subject to the conditional authorisation of the vaccine by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA),” it said.
The cost of the vaccine will be determined later subject to the conditional authorisation by NPRA.
MYEG said it is confident that when the Zhifei vaccine becomes available locally, it can play an important role in accelerating the country’s drive towards achieving herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
Jointly developed by Zhifei and the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the vaccine has fast emerged as among the preferred vaccines in China since gaining emergency use authorisation there in early March in view of its distinct inherent advantages as a recombinant protein subunit vaccine. More than 60 million doses have already been administered in more than a dozen provincial-level regions, including Beijing. The vaccine is also being used in Uzbekistan.
Recombinant protein technology is proven, having been used for the development of vaccines such as hepatitis B and shingles.
In addition, recombinant protein vaccines can be more easily produced at a large-scale since production does not need to be carried out in high-grade biosafety laboratories, and they are also more cost-effective and easier to store and transport.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, MYEG has leveraged its strengths and expertise as a leading digital services provider in the region to introduce a number of significant initiatives as part of a holistic solution aimed at helping in the fight against the pandemic.
Besides vaccines, these offerings include screening services, quarantine management and digital health travel pass systems.