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Malaysia will only go ahead with Sinovac vaccine on basis of clinical trial data

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Malaysia, which is negotiating supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine with China’s Sinovac Biotech, will only go ahead with procurement if it satisfies the safety and efficacy standards of local regulators, a minister said on Wednesday.

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Brazil has triggered concerns over Sinovac’s vaccine, after clinical trials found that it was only 50.4 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections.

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The findings were released just as Indonesia rolled out one of the world’s biggest coronavirus vaccination campaigns on Wednesday, with President Joko Widodo being the first to be inoculated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine.

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Malaysia will first review Sinovac’s clinical data before deciding, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Twitter.

“If we are not satisfied with the safety and efficacy, we will not go through with the procurement,” Khairy said.

On Tuesday, Malaysia’s Pharmaniaga Bhd signed a deal with Sinovac to purchase 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and later to manufacture it domestically.

Malaysia is also in talks with another Chinese manufacturer, CanSino Biologics, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, the maker of the Sputnik V vaccine, to secure a total of 23.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

This would be on top of vaccines procured from US and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech, and British-Swedish biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca PLC.