Malaysia approves Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 17

Vials of Chinese Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pictured inside the newly inaugurated production lab designated to manufacture the vaccine, in Constantine, Algeria September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Malaysia has given conditional approval for a COVID-19 vaccine made by China's Sinovac (SVA.O) 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 (PFE.N) 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 vaccine, following a donation of 500,000 in July.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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