To dispel some public misconceptions, Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin said today he will not take the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Instead, he said he will be the first person to take the next vaccine that the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has in store.
Khairy, who is also science, technology and innovation minister, said this in the wake of doubts among Malaysians who viewed certain vaccine as better than the others.
"I have been observing the views of the people. The prime minister, the health director-general and now many ministers and frontliners have taken Pfizer vaccine.
"So, the people have more confidence in Pfizer vaccine because the prime minister had taken the vaccine without having any side effects.
"The people are asking why are they all taking Pfizer, the good stuff, while the others are meant for the ordinary people.
"So, I have decided that I will take whatever vaccine that crosses the line, be it Sinovac, Astrazeneca or Sputnik V," he told a press conference at MASKargo after receiving the first batch of 200 litres of Sinovac today.
"I will take that as a demonstration of vaccine confidence and also my confidence in NPRA," he said.
Khairy said he noticed there are some Malaysians who wish they are given a choice to select their designated vaccine.
He, however, said the government cannot allow the people to choose as it will complicate the logistic system.
"We are seeing some doubts. There are those who really want the Pfizer vaccine or Sinovac...."
"At the moment, the government's position is that (the people need to) take whatever it is that has been approved. They (vaccines) are safe and efficacious," he stressed.
NPRA has gave conditional registration for Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer last month. It has also received the application to have Sinovac, Astrazeneca and Sputnik registered.
NPRA has yet to approve registration for Sinovac despite receiving 200 litres of Sinovac (equal to 300,000 doses) today.
Khairy explained that as Sivovac vaccine has arrived in bulk, NPRA's approval will involve two process - Sinovac's registration and Pharmaniaga's fill-and-finishing processing at its Puchong plant.
He said the fill-and-finish process of Sinovac vaccine can only take place upon securing an approval from NPRA.