KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26: The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), which is responsible for the approval of the Covid-19 vaccine in this country, is very particular in terms of the quality and safety of the vaccine.
Coordinating Minister for National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin (pix) said in fact, the Npra was also described as the most meticulous by the vaccine companies, compared to other international regulatory bodies.
“I’m the one negotiating with these companies. They came back to me and said ‘your Npra is the most unbending, the strictest in the world’...they don’t ask one or two questions and according to the Russians, they (Npra) asked 300 questions at one go including the technical aspects.”
He said this when appearing as guest for a discussion entitled “Covid-19 Vaccine: To Take or Not to Take” which was streamed live on the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association’s (PPIM) Facebook page today.
Khairy, who is also Science, Innovation and Technology Minister, said the Npra is an independent body that does not take orders from politicians, such as in expediting the vaccine approval process.
This is because the Npra is serious when it concerns the people’s rights to life and health, said Khairy.
“The Npra will not approve or allow any pharmaceutical products to enter the country as long as they are not satisfied with two things, namely efficacy and safety. So, just accept whatever vaccines that have been approved by the Npra because they are safe and effective,” he said.
Last Sunday, Malaysia received 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Singapore, which is the Covid-19 vaccine distribution hub to Asia Pacific countries.
The Sinovac vaccine is expected to be flown in from Beijing, China tomorrow.- Bernama