Malaysia's Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin became the first recipient of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine in Malaysia, who received the shot at the Rembau Hospital in Negeri Sembilan state.
Khairy, who is also the coordinating minister for Malaysia's national COVID-19 immunization program, was joined by 10 other frontline workers to receive the Sinovac vaccine. He expressed feeling well after receiving the shot.
The minister stressed that the Sinovac vaccine had been used in many countries and by state leaders including Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"This proves that many other countries recognized the safety, efficacy and stability of the vaccine for use and to be administered to their people," he said.
He noted that the Sinovac vaccine passed the requirements of Malaysia's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and encouraged the public to participate in the government's national immunization program.
He also said that the Sinovac vaccine has a handling temperature of between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, making it easier to transport, store and roll out compared to other vaccines which are more demanding in their handling.
Malaysia received a batch of finished Sinovac vaccines doses from China on Monday after Malaysia's regulators gave the vaccine a conditional approval. Another shipment is expected later this month.
The Sinovac vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine for use in Malaysia's vaccination drive after the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.
On Thursday, Malaysia's health ministry reported 1,213 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the country's total tally to 328,466.