Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated that the Drug Control Authority (DCA) of Malaysia has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and above.
The Health director-general stated that they gave conditional registration for the emergency use of the CanSino and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, both which only require one dose.
He also mentioned that while the additional approval had been given for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, priority would still be given to the high-risk groups in line with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba had said that children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old were expected to be included in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in its fifth phase.
However, it would only take place if the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) gives its approval for the Pfizer vaccine to be used on children in this age group.
He mentioned that so far only Pfizer had submitted a request for its vaccine to be used on children.
Currently, Covid-19 vaccines available in the country can only be given to those aged 18 and above, as regulated by the NPRA.
As for the conditional registration approval for the two vaccines, Dr Noor Hisham said this would require information on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine to be monitored and evaluated based on the latest data.
This is to ensure that the benefit over risk of the vaccines are positive.
Dr Noor Hisham added that they would improve the level of public health in combating the Covid-19 pandemic through the procurement of vaccine supplies that have been evaluated in terms of quality, safety and effectiveness by the NPRA and approved by the DCA.
He said the government was also committed to ensuring that Malaysians attain herd immunity in line with the National Immunisation Programme.