Malaysia has given conditional approval for a COVID-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinovac to be used on young people aged between 12 and 17, its health ministry said on Friday.
Teenagers younger than 18 began receiving COVID-19 doses last month, after vaccinations of more than 80% of adults were completed in one of Southeast Asia’s fastest vaccine rollouts that has covered 62% of a population of 32 million.
In a statement, the health ministry said Malaysia’s drugs regulator advised priority for Sinovac’s product among teenagers without co-morbidities or allergy problems, or otherwise deemed unsuitable for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
In July, Malaysia said it would stop giving the Sinovac shot when supplies ran out, as it had enough of other vaccines for the national campaign.
Malaysia has continued to receive additional shipments, however. This week, the foreign ministry said China had agreed to donate a million doses of the Sinovac shot, following a donation of 500,000 in July.
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