KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s health ministry said on Friday (Jul 16) it has granted conditional approval for emergency use to the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinopharm.
The Sinopharm vaccine in Malaysia was registered by pharmaceutical company Duopharma, director-general of health Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.
Duopharma had previously announced a deal to supply the Malaysian government with 6.4 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the health ministry’s announcement on Sinopharm. 
Authorities have also granted conditional approval to the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine made by US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and manufactured in Belgium, Dr Noor Hisham said.
Malaysia had earlier approved another batch of Janssen vaccines that had been given the greenlight for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
The approvals come a day after Malaysia’s health ministry said that it would stop administering the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac once its supplies end, as it has a sufficient number of other vaccines for its programme.
Malaysia started its national COVID-19 immunisation programme on Feb 24. It has administered a total of 12,647,558 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday, with more than 4 million people – or 12.3 per cent of the population – fully vaccinated so far.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Thursday that the government is considering the possibility of giving some “leeway” to people who have completed the full COVID-19 vaccination regimen, including allowing them to dine in at restaurants and to travel between states.
Malaysia reported 13,215 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, setting a record for the third consecutive day. To date, authorities have reported about 880,000 cases and more than 6,600 deaths.
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