Pharmaniaga ready to pump up production of Covid-19 vaccine
26 May 2021
Pharmaniaga Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Pharmaniaga LifeScience Sdn Bhd (PLS), is ready to ramp up production from two million to four million doses a month to help the government expedite the vaccination programme and achieve herd immunity.
Pharmaniaga group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said Pharmaniaga is awaiting approval by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) for manufacturing two doses per vial before submitting it to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
“The production capacity is expected to increase by four million per month once the two-dose vial is approved. We expect it will take about two to three weeks of evaluation upon submission to NPRA, followed by running another stability test for two doses per vial.
“All these requirements are standard practices in the vaccine industry to ensure the vaccine is safe prior to distribution to the public,“ he said in a press conference here today.
He said up to May 23, PLS had completed the fill and finish manufacturing process for a total of 1,889,800 doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine.
Zulkarnain said of the total completed doses, the EU certified PLS plant has rolled out a total of 290,480 doses to the Health Ministry on May 11, which was from the 200-litre bulk vaccine received in February, for process validation.
“A total of 320,000 doses are awaiting approval from NPRA before being distributed to the rakyat. Whilst 319,320 doses are in the process of delivery, while the remaining 960,000 doses are undergoing 12 quality control tests before the Lot Release process for NPRA approval which is expected to be completed by the end of this month,“ he said.
He said the plant is also expected to fill and finish another 720,000 doses which it has carried out since last Sunday to be completed by May 31, before undergoing the 12 quality control tests.
PLS expects to complete another two million doses of fill and finish vaccine in June, as well as receive three million doses of finished Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac in China, bringing the total number of doses for June to about five million.
He said the company was also awaiting approval by the CFDA for the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for children aged three to 17 years old and hoped that it can be implemented in the third or fourth quarter of this year, subject to approval.
Meanwhile, Zulkarnain asserted that PLS was the sole distributor of the Sinovac vaccine in Malaysia and all parties should go through PLS if they want to donate the vaccine. Bernama