The Malaysia Ministry of Health just announced that there is no change in the delivery schedule of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. However, there is no approval yet…
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine : What Is It?
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine called BNT162b2 designed by BioNTech.
It uses messenger RNA technology to teach our cells to create the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins.
The presence of these spike proteins triggers the body’s immune system, training it to create antibodies that target the actual SARS-CoV-2 virus.
If we actually get infected by SARS-CoV-2 after being vaccinated, those antibodies will immediately attach to the virus particles :
- preventing them from infecting our cells
- cause the virus particles to stick together (agglutinate), making them easier targets
- identifying the virus particles as targets for phagocytic cells to destroy
The immune response to the spike proteins will also train memory cells, so that they can respond to a future COVID-19 infection weeks or months after vaccination.
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MOH : No Change In Pfizer Vaccine Delivery
On 27 November 2020, Malaysia announced the purchase of 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
They also announced that Malaysia will receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in four tranches over the whole year :
- Q1 2021 : 1 million doses
- Q2 2021 : 1.7 million doses
- Q3 2021 : 5.8 million doses
- Q4 2021 : 4.3 million doses
But after the Wall Street Journal wrote about a 50% cut in 2020 production of the Pfizer vaccine, there were concerns that we may not even get the vaccine in Q1 2021.
The Malaysia Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, clarified on 6 December 2020 that the NPRA (National Pharmacutical Regulatory Agency) has not received any notification of vaccine delivery issues from Pfizer.
He assured the public that KKM is always monitoring developments, and receives advanced notice on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Therefore, as far as they are concerned, there has been no change in the delivery schedule.
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MOH : No Approval Of Pfizer Vaccine Yet
The Malaysia DG Health also announced that the NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency) has yet to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in Malaysia.
In fact, they have yet to receive any documents from Pfizer for the evaluation of the registration and testing of the BNT162b2 vaccine.
Regardless of what the Pfizer vaccine delivery schedule is like, it must first be evaluated, tested and approved by KKM and the NPRA, before it can be used in Malaysia.
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