No decision yet on need for third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, says Khairy

PETALING JAYA: A decision has yet to be made on whether or not there is a need to administer a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister, asked about the Pfizer CEO’s recent statement that a third vaccine dose may need to be administered within 12 months, said: "That is the view of Pfizer’s CEO. We don’t have any data on this yet.

“Even so, the Health Ministry, the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force and the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee are making long-term plans.

“It is possible that we would need such doses in the years to come. We do not know yet, ” he said in his weekly press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on Monday (April 19).

He also said the meeting to discuss whether or not Malaysia will proceed with the AstraZeneca vaccine will be held on Thursday (April 22).

Meanwhile, Khairy said Malaysia is scheduled to receive 1,038,960 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 500,000 doses of Sinovac finished products in May.

He said the total supply of Pfizer vaccine received in April is 712,530 doses, while the country also has Sinovac vaccines from Pharmaniaga that can produce up to 2.6 million doses.

The Sinovac doses from Pharmaniaga, he added, are still pending approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.

He also stressed that Malaysia was not running behind in its vaccination programme, but keeping to the schedule of the phases as announced earlier.

“Many people have raised questions about the schedule of the programme, and I want to say we are following it.

“Phase two is for senior citizens, people with comorbidities and people with disabilities. After phase two is done, we will start with phase three, when the supply is enough.

“I understand people’s anxiety, but as we have said before: after we register, we have to wait our turn (in our respective phases)," he said.

He added that the vaccines will be distributed to the states according to the number of registered phase two recipients at state and district level.

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