‘14 million doses for sale’

For sale: Ismail Sabri (left) with Dr Adham after the handing over of the last batch of Sinovac ceremony at Pharmaniaga Bhd in Shah Alam. — Bernama

SHAH ALAM: A total of 14 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be sold by Pharmaniaga Bhd to interested states and private companies from this month until September, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the sale of the vaccine directly to interested parties had received the approval of the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), and could further expedite efforts to achieve herd immunity earlier than scheduled.

“States are also interested in buying directly. For example, Selangor, which has long asked for the vaccine to be sold directly to them.

“However, this committee has its own schedule and that is why we can’t give directly,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Earlier, he witnessed the handing over of the last batch of Sinovac vaccine to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, who represented the government, by Pharmaniaga group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope.

Ismail Sabri said Pharmaniaga had managed to supply 12 million doses of Sinovac vaccine four-and-a-half months ahead of the original contract schedule and on July 19, the government had agreed to purchase another two million doses of Sinovac to cover Operation Surge Capacity.

He said the list of companies and states that applied to purchase the vaccine would be referred to JKJAV for review.

“They can also make reservations directly with Pharmaniaga and will be referred to JKJAV because the names of the recipients listed may have been duplicated or have received the vaccine,” he said.

On the flexibility to be given to those who have completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, Ismail Sabri said the matter was still under in-depth study by the government.

“Maybe one of the conditions for us is to allow factories to reopen when more than 80% of their workers have completed two doses of vaccination, and when we can sell the vaccine directly to these factories.

“Even though two doses have been given, the Health Ministry may still consider it not completely safe.

“But at least two doses along with other conditions such as screening tests every two weeks and so on may help. However, the matter is still being discussed,” he said.

Ismail Sabri added that the government had also received various suggestions on relaxation of restrictions, including allowing couples living apart to travel interstate when they had been fully vaccinated.

“There are also suggestions to allow businesses or industries that have never had a cluster to operate or to give permission to fully vaccinated customers to dine in at restaurants. We are still studying them,” he added. — Bernama

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