MABkargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) on 27 February delivered the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines by Sinovac Biotech to Malaysia aboard flight MH319.
Malaysia Airlines’ passenger-to-cargo flight using its A330-300 transported some 200 litres (enough for 300,000 doses) of the Chinese manufactured vaccine from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur.
Overseeing the logistics of the vaccine from the Beijing plant and upon inspection in Kuala Lumpur was Pharmaniaga, who in early January signed an agreement with Sinovac to bottle and distribute 14 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, Payload Asia learned.
Also read: Asia’s flag carriers fly in life-saving vaccines
MASKargo said the Sinovac vaccines were flown in using a tailored product that allowed the vaccine to be kept within the temperature requirement of 2˚C to 8˚C.
“Planning and coordination work with Pharmaniaga began several months ago to ensure a safe, secure and hygienic handling using the MH Centigrade a success,” said Ibrahim Mohamed Salleh, MASkargo chief executive.
Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) is in the process of evaluating the Sinovac clinical data, Payload Asia learned, but has yet to grant emergency use.
In related news, the Philippines received the first batch of Sinovac’s CoronaVac onboard China’s military transport plane on Sunday. The arrival of the vaccine comes days after the local FDA issued emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the vaccine on 22 February.
Aside from the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos are the other Asian countries that have granted EUA for the Chinese made vaccine.
Updates: 300 was corrected to 300,000 doses on 2nd paragraph