Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine approved for use in kids aged 12 and above by Malaysia’s DCA

File photo depicting a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine being prepared. Photo source: Flickr, Creative Commons License

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KUCHING, June 15: The Drug Control Authority (DCA) Malaysia has approved the usage of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 12 years old and above.

In a statement today, Ministry of Health (MOH) director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said that Covid-19 vaccines produced by China’s CanSino Biologics and the US’ Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have been given conditional registration for emergency use in Malaysia as both vaccines require only one dose to be effective.

While the additional approval had been given for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, he added that MOH was of the view that the priority for the rollout of the vaccine will still be for high-risk groups in line with the existing policy set under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Program (NCIP).

“Previously, Comirnaty (Pfizer) was approved as conditional registration on Jan 8, 2021, and is used for the purpose of active immunisation to individuals 18 years of age and older,” he explained.

Meanwhile, according to national news reports, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba had previously said that children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old were expected to be included in the NCIP in the fifth phase, which would likely kick off in August.

As for the conditional approval for the two vaccines, Dr Noor Hisham emphasised that this would require information on the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine product to be monitored and evaluated based on the latest data from time to time.

“This is to ensure that the comparison of benefit over risk for the vaccine products remains positive,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that MOH will always improve the level of public health in combating the Covid-19 epidemic through the procurement of vaccine supplies that have been evaluated in terms of quality, safety and effectiveness by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) and approved by the DCA.

“The government is also committed to ensuring that Malaysians attain herd immunity in line with the NCIP,” he added. — DayakDaily