Malaysia approves use of Moderna vaccine

PUTRAJAYA: The mRNA-based vaccine from ModernaTX Inc is the latest to join Malaysia’s line-up of Covid-19 jabs after it received the Health Ministry’s approval for emergency use.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said the Drug Control Authority (DCA) agreed to give conditional approval to Spikevax, or what is commonly known as the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

“The conditional registration approval requires that information on the vaccine’s quality, safety and effectiveness be monitored and evaluated from time to time based on the latest data.

“It must be ensured that the vaccine’s benefit always outweighs the risks,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a statement yesterday.

He said the approval was for Spikevax that is registered to Zuellig Pharma Sdn Bhd and manufactured by Rovi Pharma Industrial Services in Spain.

So far, the vaccines that have been approved for usage in Malaysia are Comirnaty from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, CoronaVac by Sinovac Biotech, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson and CanSino.

Spikevax is typically administered in two shots, 28 days apart.

Dr Noor Hisham said the decision was made at a DCA meeting yesterday, which also saw Malaysia’s Covid-19 daily cases breaching the 20,000 mark for the first time since the pandemic began, with the 20,596 cases reported yesterday.

In his daily Covid-19 update, Dr Noor Hisham said 98.1% of the 20,596 cases were either asymptomatic or mild, while 1.9% (398 cases) were those in categories 3, 4 and 5.

The Health Ministry’s data shows that 78% of the new cases involve people with no Covid-19 vaccination history.

About half of the country’s cases (10,788) are those traced from close contacts, with another 7,463 cases being sporadic infections while 2,311 are linked to clusters.

There were also 34 imported cases.

State-wise, Selangor had the highest number of cases with 8,549 new infections, followed by Kuala Lumpur (2,163), Kedah (1,446), Johor (1,300), Sabah (1,062) and Penang (1,022).

Malaysia also reported 164 Covid-19 deaths yesterday with 150 of them Malaysians, taking the death toll to 10,019.

At least 127 casualties had some form of comorbidity or underlying condition.

Twenty-two deaths have been classified as “brought-in-dead”.

Selangor had the highest number of fatalities with 45, followed by Johor (27) and KL (24), while Labuan and Perlis reported no new deaths.

Cumulatively, 976,626 people in Malaysia (81% of all cases) have recovered from Covid-19.

There are currently 217,061 active cases nationwide with 1,078 under intensive care, 549 of them requiring breathing support.

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