Health Director-General Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah announced that the Drug Control Authority (DCA) has given conditional approval to India’s homegrown COVAXIN COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Malaysia. The shot has become the eighth vaccine to be approved in Malaysia, and has also received the green light in 13 other countries, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
COVAXIN, codenamed BBV152, is an inactivated virus type, similar to COVID-19 jabs from Sinovac and Sinopharm. It is a two-dose vaccine with a recommended interval of four weeks between doses, and while it has been approved for use here, the Director-General did not mention if it would be added to the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
According to the WHO, COVAXIN has an efficacy rate of 64% against infections and 93% against severe COVID-19 symptoms. We don’t know what the price will be if it is sold in the private market here but for reference, the jab is reportedly sold to the Indian government at 205 Indian Rupees (~RM11) per dose while it’s capped at 1200 Indian Rupees (~RM66) for private institutions.
COVAXIN is manufactured by Bharat Biotech in India, while the local product registration holder is Averroes Pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, on the same day that the Indian vaccine was approved, the DCA also gave the thumbs up for TEGRAD, a generic drug for HIV treatment that also comes from India.
(Source: Director-General of Heath)