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Wellness The 5 Covid-19 Vaccines In Malaysia's National Vaccination Programme

The 5 Covid-19 Vaccines In Malaysia's National Vaccination Programme

An official shows a vial of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the Medical Center of the Hungarian Armed Forces in Budapest on February 12, 2021. - Hungary on February 12 became the first EU nation to start using Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, the country's chief medical officer said. (Photo by Zsolt SZIGETVARY / various sources / AFP)
A vial of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine (Photo: Zsolt Szigetvary/various sources/ AFP)
By Tania Jayatilaka
By Tania Jayatilaka
February 17, 2021
Quick facts from Malaysia's National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Handbook on the Covid-19 vaccines that will be used in our national vaccination plan which is expected to start rolling out on February 26

On February 16, 2021, Malaysia's National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Handbook (which can be downloaded at was launched in a virtual ceremony by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who also mentioned that the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines were expected to arrive in Malaysia earlier than expected on February 21, 2021.

See also: What You Need To Know About Malaysia’s Covid-19 Vaccine Programme 

The handbook, which was published by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), offers key information about the government's Covid-19 immunisation strategy, which groups will be vaccinated first, how to register for the programme and what the public should know about the five varieties of Covid-19 vaccines purchased for this plan. According to the handbook, the government aims for at least 80 per cent of Malaysia's adult population to be vaccinated by February 2022 to reduce the spread of this virus. 

From dosage to efficacy rates, here's what the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Handbook says about the five vaccines that will soon arrive in Malaysia.

1/5 Pfizer-BioNTech

A poster reminds healthcare professionals that the vaccine they are using is the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and that they should draw six doses of 0.3ml from each vial at a vaccination centre set up at Thornton Little Theatre managed by Wyre Council in Thornton-Cleveleys, northwest England, on January 29, 2021 as Britain's coronavirus vaccination campaign continues. - The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech, now considers each via
Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

Country of origin: US

Total no. of doses ordered: 32 million

Type: Pfizer-BioNTech is a messenger RNA or mRNA vaccine which instructs the body's cells to produce a protein that triggers an immune response. A Covid-19 mRNA vaccine teaches our cells to produce a 'spike protein' which is found on the surface of the coronavirus. The body's immune system then recognises this protein and develops an antibody to protect against it. Unlike traditional vaccines, this type contains only synthetic components, not a live virus.

Pfizer-BioNTech boasts an efficacy of 95 per cent and must be administered in two doses. However, storage and logistics for this particular vaccine are costly as the doses must be kept in a special cold environment with a temperature of -75°C. 

See also: Where To Get Tested For Covid-19 In Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya

2/5 AstraZeneca

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 17, 2020 a drop from a syringe with the logo of British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. - AstraZeneca, the British maker of a Covid vaccine with Oxford University, said that net profit more than doubled last year to $3.2 billion on strong sales of new cancer drugs on February 11, 2021. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)
Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Country of origin: UK

Total no. of doses ordered: 12.8 million 

Type: The AstraZeneca vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, jointly produced by UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University. It uses a modified virus to deliver a small portion of the virus' genetic code to the body's cells, teaching them to produce the spike protein found in the coronavirus and build an immune response to it. This vaccine must also be administered in two doses and has an efficacy rate of 62 per cent to 90 per cent. 

See also: What These Alumni Of Top International Schools In Malaysia Have Done To Fight Covid-19   

3/5 Sinovac

A staff member works during a media tour of a new factory built to produce a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Sinovac, one of 11 Chinese companies approved to carry out clinical trials of potential coronavirus vaccines, in Beijing on September 24, 2020. (Photo by WANG ZHAO / AFP)
Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP

Country of origin: China

Total no. of doses ordered: 12 million

Type: The Sinovac vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, which means it uses killed virus particles to trigger the body's immune response to a virus. Suitable for those with weak immune systems, Sinovac's vaccine has an efficacy of 50.4 per cent to 91.25 per cent, and is currently being used in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Brazil, Cambodia, Turkey and Chile. 

Related: Travelling During Covid-19: What You Should Know 

4/5 CanSino Biologics

Country of origin: China

Total no. of doses ordered: 3.5 million

Type: Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics co-developed this vaccine with the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and the Academy of Military Medical Sciences. It's currently in use in China, Mexico and Pakistan. The CanSinoBIO vaccine is also a viral vector vaccine and the only vaccine among the five listed in the handbook that can be administered in one shot. It has a 65.7 per cent efficacy rate.

More: How 6 Malaysian Billionaires Made A Difference During This Covid-19 Crisis

5/5 Sputnik V

Country of origin: Russia

Total no. of doses ordered: 6.4 million 

Type: A viral vector vaccine by Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute, the Sputnik V shot is administered in two doses around 21 days apart. It boasts an efficacy of 91.6 per cent and is being used in Russia, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina and Belarus. Like the AstraZeneca, Sinovac and CanSinoBIO vaccines, the Sputnik V vaccine can be stored in standard refrigerators at temperatures of -2°C to -8°C, making them easier and cheaper to transport compared to the Pfizer vaccine.       

Related: Dr Amalina Bakri On Lessons From The Covid-19 Frontline 


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