Covid-19: Those aged 60 and above can be given Sinovac vaccine, says Khairy

PETALING JAYA: Senior citizens aged 60 and above can be given the Sinovac vaccine under phase two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

The coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said that the committee evaluating the vaccines have looked at the latest data and found that that vaccine is "safe, effective and stable" for senior citizens.

Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the countries that have administered the Sinovac vaccine to its population aged 60 and above are Turkey (11 million people), Brazil (seven million) and Chile (three million).

"The committee has reviewed the data and we have decided to use the Sinovac for senior citizens based on the Brazil trials and trial papers under review.

"The secondary efficacy against Covid-19 for Sinovac is 83.7% for moderate cases and 100% for severe cases.

"So, this vaccine is effective in preventing severe cases of Covid-19 and this is precisely what we want for the people in phase two and senior citizens.

"The Covid-19 mortality rate for those aged 60 and above is 80%, so if we can give 100% protection against severe cases of the virus – which the Sinovac vaccine provides – then it is something we need to use," he said during a press conference on Monday (April 12).

The Sinovac vaccine came under scrutiny as its efficacy rates have varied across different countries, while China's immunisation plan initially did not include those above 60 years old.

In a tweet later, Khairy clarified that both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines would be given to those aged 60 and above.

"Before this, Sonovac was not given to those in the above 60 age group. On the advice of experts. the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) has decided that Sinovac vaccines are safe for senior citizens," he said.

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