SHAH ALAM: Pharmaniaga Bhd will be supplying Sinovac Covid-19 booster doses to designated private hospitals and clinics soon, following conditional approval by the Drug Control Authority on Wednesday (Nov 17).
Pharmaniaga group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the vaccine will be available at selected private hospitals and clinics as an option for individuals who wish to have the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine booster shot.
"We hope with this effort, we can see our country revive its economy and help Malaysians weather the Covid-19 pandemic, thus ensuring the people's wellbeing, business continuity and most importantly, saving lives,” he said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 18).
Zulkarnain added that the Sinovac booster has been approved for individuals aged 18 years and above who have received the same type of vaccine (homologous) and will be administered three to six months after the second dose, as outlined by the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force – Booster (CITF-B).
He noted that a number of provinces and cities in China have started giving Covid-19 vaccine boosters to people who received their doses at least six months ago.
"In China, the booster shot rollout comes after close to 80% of the population has been vaccinated, to give optimum protection against the virus and new variants.
"According to research in China, a booster shot given at an interval of six to 12 months after the second dose led to a strong boost in immune response, with geometric mean titers (GMTs) increasing to approximately 140 in adults and even higher in the elderly aged above 60 years,” he said.
(GMTs are a measure of antibodies' presence in an individual's blood.)
He said the GMT at six months after the third dose is higher than the peak of the second dose and added that studies also showed a higher persistence of antibodies, up to 20-fold, six months after the booster dose compared to the second dose.
This indicated a longer duration of protection from Covid-19 and new variants, he added.
"Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine is safe as it is developed using inactivated virus which is a well-established technology (for) more than 40 years that is also being used commonly in many types of vaccines, currently available in the market including for polio, Hepatitis A and rabies,” he said. – Bernama