Malaysia has granted conditional approval for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, the health ministry said on Tuesday.
The approval of the conditional registration would allow the vaccines to be used during an emergency, Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.
Malaysia took its first delivery of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccines in bulk last week.
The delivered vaccines will go through a "fill and finish" by Sinovac's Malaysia partner Pharmaniaga, which Noor Hisham said Malaysia's regulators are evaluating separately.
Besides the vaccine from the Chinese manufacturer, Malaysia on Tuesday also granted conditional approval for the COVID-19 vaccine from the AstraZeneca/Oxford consortium.
Previously, Malaysia approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, which was used in its national immunization program on Feb. 24.
According to the government's plan, Malaysia's vaccination program will be conducted in three phases: phase 1 for frontliners covering some half a million people, phase 2 for high-risk groups and phase 3 for adults aged those aged 18 and above. The whole exercise is expected to be completed by February next year, covering at least 80 percent of the country's population.