SEMASA

Distribution of Sinovac Vaccine to Private Sector by Pharmaniaga

SHAH ALAM: Pharmaniaga Berhad (Pharmaniaga) has embarked on an initiative to supply the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to the state governments and private sector in order to complement the Government’s effort to achieve herd immunity and economic recovery at a faster pace.

Pharmaniaga Group Managing Director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the key focus is aimed at economic frontliners amongst the government-linked companies (GLCs), private firms, foreign workers and expatriates in this country.

“We shall also offer the vaccines to the state governments that wish to expedite their own COVID-19 immunisation programmes.

“We will ensure an effective provision and distribution of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses supply to the private market and state governments, and it will not disrupt our existing contractual obligation with the Federal Government.

“This expansion in a new market also marks a strong repositioning that will strengthen the Group’s foothold in the private market,” he said during the Group 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), which were conducted through live streaming, today.

The Group is expected to complete its contractual obligation of supplying 12 million doses to the Federal Government by July, sufficient to cover some 18% of Malaysia’s population and it remains a priority.

Datuk Zulkarnain said the vaccine has recently been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the recognition is a boost of confidence in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are bullish on the Group’s outlook this year and expect a better financial year 2021 (FY 2021) performance with the continuous ramping up the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine supply.

“China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has given emergency approval for Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 3 to 17 years and manufacturing of 2- dose per vial, recently.

“We are very pleased with this new development and shall be submitting the relevant documents to NPRA for variation process. Upon obtaining the approval, we will be able to ramp up our capacity from 2 million to 4 million doses a month,” he said.

As part of the long-term sustainability plan, Datuk Zulkarnain said the Group aims to accelerate the growth of the Halal vaccine manufacturing business with various types of vaccine development projects.

“Our plans to establish the world’s first Halal vaccine facility are progressing well, in close collaboration with Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC). The Halal vaccine project has been selected as a pioneer initiative for policy and incentive development purposes.

“The facility is targeted to start operating in 2024 and aims to create a new revenue stream for the Group while generating multiple positive spills over benefits, including improving our nation’s pandemic preparedness towards cultivating a sustainable vaccine supply chain.

“In addition, it will provide opportunities for upskilling local talent whilst increasing access to affordable vaccines for both local and international markets. This will subsequently position Malaysia as a global vaccine manufacturer.”

Pharmaniaga Chairman Dato’ Sri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said in line with the AGM’s theme of Protecting the Nation, the Group has proven itself resilient in a year with uncertain economic situations whilst responding swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and supported all the Government’s efforts in protecting the nation and rakyat.

“We continued to future-proof the business through Industry 4.0 technologies embedded within our operations, in tandem with various key strategies in place. We shall also embrace modernisation in our processes with the strong inclusion of digitalisation in our journey for greater excellence.

“Pharmaniaga has shown tremendous effort in making sure there is no interruption to its operations and distribution of medical supplies as well as the vaccines to the Government, and now the private sector. We look forward and aim to sustain the performance into 2021 while pursuing growth opportunities,” said Dato’ Sri Mohammed Shazalli.

During the AGM and EGM, the Group received a positive reception from its shareholders and thanks for the continuous support as well as their virtual presence. The shareholders approved all the ordinary resolutions proposed.