Frankly Speaking: Pharmaniaga should set the record straight 

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on February 14, 2022 - February 20, 2022.
Frankly Speaking: Pharmaniaga should set the record straight 
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Last Wednesday, Pharmaniaga Bhd cited a study conducted by Yale University, noting that two doses of Sinovac vaccine with a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose are less effective and produce a lower immune response against the Omicron variant compared with other strains.

Pharmaniaga also highlighted a separate research by Sinovac Biotech Ltd showing that three doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine produced higher neutralising antibodies in 95% of recipients compared with 3.3% by the second dose against a variant of concern, including Omicron.

Commenting on Pharmaniaga’s claim that two doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine with one Pfizer-BioNTech booster is less effective against the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health’s Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) noted on Thursday that “the prevailing facts and evidence are misrepresented.

It adds that in line with emerging evidence and the ongoing Omicron wave, the Ministry of Health Malaysia continues to recommend Pfizer or AstraZeneca as the preferred booster for Sinovac vaccine recipients.

Pharmaniaga should set the record straight. We are in a pandemic and lives are at stake. 

As it is, Malaysia breached the 20,000 mark for daily cases last Friday.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 test kits were selling like hot cakes recently as Omicron hit our shores. It was reported that the sales of home self-testing kits have increased dramatically, resulting in not only supply shortages, but also price hikes in certain locations.

The government should look into the supply of rapid antigen test kits to ensure there is sufficient stock. It could also be timely to reconsider their ceiling price of RM19.90 per kit given how essential it is to self-test nowadays to keep each other safe.

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