Pharmaniaga Bhd is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines which are expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2021, as soon as it receives the go-ahead from the government.
Group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said that the government-linked company has set up a team of 400 personnel skilled in logistics and distribution in five godowns located in Selangor, Penang, Sabah and also Sarawak.
Zulkarnain Md Eusope said besides ensuring that the delivery of the vaccines is done using Just-in Time (JIT) format to hospital (according to capacity and vaccination schedules to be determined by the government), Pharmaniaga also needs to focus on the safety aspects during the process of vaccine distribution.
“The vaccines will be much sought-after products. As such, Pharmaniaga will tighten security at our godowns, during the transportation and at the storage locations to avoid unwanted situations,” he said.
He further said the JIT delivery is aimed at preventing excessive stockpiling at government hospital storage facilities.
Pharmaniaga has six factories in Malaysia and one factory in Bandung, Indonesia
In addition, Pharmaniaga was also prepared to undertake the necessary modifications to its factory which is Pharmaniaga LifeScience Sdn Bhd in Puchong, to enable them to carry out the bottle development process for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is to ensure the distribution of the vaccines will be done efficiently.
The government-linked company has six factories in Malaysia, namely Idaman Pharma Manufacturing Sdn Bhd in Sungai Petani and in Sri Iskandar; Pharmaniaga Manufacturing Bhd in Bangi; Pharmaniaga LifeScience in Puchong; Paradigm Industry Sdn Bhd in Klang and Bio-Collagen Technologies Sdn Bhd in Sri Kembangan. It also has another factory, PT Errita Pharma in Bandung, Indonesia.
According to Zulkarnain, Pharmaniaga warehouses had fficient capacity for vaccine storage with a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius.
“Our total warehouse capacity is close to 30 million vials at any one time.”