Malaysia grants conditional approval for Thai-made AstraZeneca vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A vial labelled with the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian health authorities said on Friday conditional approval had been granted for AstraZeneca’s AZN.L COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Siam Bioscience Co in Thailand.

Health Ministry director-general, Noor Hisham Abdullah, said in a statement the vaccine supply received from Thailand is expected to speed up implementation of Malaysia’s national vaccination programme.

The government had previously put the AstraZeneca vaccine in a parallel optional programme after reports of possible links to very rare blood clots.

But the vaccine was brought back into the national immunisation programme last week after hundreds of thousands of people scrambled to get the shot.

Malaysia has purchased 12.8 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, half through the COVAX facility and the remainder directly from the drugmaker.

The first shipment of 610,000 doses from Thailand is scheduled for this month, followed by 410,000 doses in July and 1.2 million doses between August and September, the government had said previously.

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