DG: Two more vaccines get conditional approval

Medical cargo: A file photo showing a temperature-controlled container used to transport Covid-19 vaccines, seen at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. — Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: China’s Sinovac and the UK’s AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines have received conditional approval from Malaysia.

Currently, the country has the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine on the list.

According to health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the decision was made when the Drug Control Authority met yesterday.

“This conditional registration requires the holding company to submit analysis of latest data by rolling submission that will be evaluated by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA).

“This is to ensure that the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine are always updated and the ‘benefits over risk’ of this vaccine remains positive, ” he said during the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference here.

Dr Noor Hisham also said additional approval had been given to Pfizer-BioNTech for its vaccine manufactured in Mainz, Germany.

The vaccine that received the first approval was manufactured in Puurs, Belgium.

This vaccine was being used for frontliners when the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme kicked off on Feb 26.

Dr Noor Hisham said Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which Malaysia had procured 6.4 million doses, was still being evaluated by the NPRA.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Covid-19 infections continued to show a downward trend, with the country recording 1,555 new cases yesterday.

This was the lowest daily figure recorded so far this year. Prior to this, the country recorded 1,704 cases on Jan 4.

With the total number of patients being discharged outnumbering new cases daily, active cases have also gone down to pre-movement control order levels.

Tuesday’s active cases were 24,563, a drastic drop from the figures recorded in early February, when there was a high of 52,000 cases.

Dr Noor Hisham said Selangor still recorded the highest number with 672 cases – accounting for 43.2% of new infections.

“Out of Selangor’s total, 573 cases or 85.3% are those uncovered from clusters and contact tracing activities.

“Johor recorded the second highest with 163 cases (10.5%), followed by Sarawak with 159 cases (10.2%), ” he said.

There are three import cases while the rest are local transmissions.

Dr Noor Hisham also announced six Covid-19 fatalities, which raised the country’s death toll to 1,141.

Three of the fatalities were in Selangor, while Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Perak reported one death each.

Five of the deceased were Malaysians aged between 57 and 80. Most of them suffered from comorbidities such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

One case involved a foreign man, aged 44, who was already deceased when he was brought in to the Seri Manjung Hospital in Perak.

The number of patients in intensive care is currently at 204, with 96 requiring ventilator support.

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