The company is currently in talks with govt ministries and agencies for relevant approvals and effective implementation
By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic BLOOMBERG
BIOALPHA Holdings Bhd is the latest company to have jumped on the vaccine distribution bandwagon, as the supplement manufacturer has signed multiple memorandums of understanding (MoUs) yesterday to secure its fair share of profit from the demand for the Covid-19 vaccines.
Its wholly owned subsidiary Bioalpha International Sdn Bhd (BISB) has entered into a procurement and distribution agreement with Shanghai Bukun Trading Co Ltd (SBTC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinopharm (Hainan) Health Industry Co Ltd for the procurement and distribution of vaccines in Malaysia, including but not limited to the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Co Ltd, subject to relevant authorities’ approvals which include the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
The Covid-19 vaccine by Sinovac Biotech would be procured on a “ready-to administer” basis (that is, already filled in vials) and does not require further fill and finish pro- cessing with 100,000 doses initially, with subsequent orders of up to one million doses.
“The agreement is effective from Jan 25, 2021, and shall remain in force for a period of two years,” noted Bioalpha in filing the stock exchange yesterday.
Bioalpha MD William Hon said the company is anticipating high demand from the private sector with the increasing infection rates of Covid-19 among foreign workers.
“As such, we are currently still in talks with the Ministry of Health (MoH), NPRA and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for the relevant approvals and effective implementation.
“The sooner we can get the approvals, the sooner we can distribute as there is no capital expenditure required because the vaccine is already processed and filled in vials, it is ready for admi- nistration,” he said during the signing yesterday.
BISB has also signed an MoU with Zuellig Pharma Sdn Bhd to facilitate the importation, warehousing and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia.
This MoU will be effective from Jan 22, 2021, and is subjected to approval from the relevant authorities’ approval for the distribution and sale of the Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia which include MoH, NPRA and other relevant authorities and/or third parties, if required, Bioalpha noted in a separate filing yesterday.
Zuellig Pharma is currently the largest vaccine distributor in Malaysia and has extensive capabilities to warehouse and distribute such products in temperature-controlled environments.
The Bioalpha unit also signed an MoU with iHEAL Medical Services Sdn Bhd to undertake the vaccine administration exercise.
iHEAL owns and operates the iHEAL Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur, a medical centre licensed by MoH.
In addition to administering the vaccines at the medical centre, iHEAL shall also offer services that include arranging on-site vaccine administration exercise with a mobile team of medical practitioners, designating a large space to undertake mass vaccination efficiently, providing a certificate of vaccination and professional consultation post-vaccination, among others.
iHeal founder Dr David Khoo Sin Keat said the vaccination workflow would begin with an online booking through a vaccine-focused platform named mycovac.com.
“The user can then choose their time and location, as well as make their payment online.
“As vaccination requires two seating, they will attend the first vaccination, and if there are any side effects and updates, they can do it through the online platform,” he said.
Following the first vaccination round, the customer can later make an appointment for the second one, and also follow up with any necessary reports.
“After the second vaccination is done, they may then receive their Covid-19 immunisation certificate,” he said.
Presently, Bioalpha, through its retail pharmacy chain, Constant Pharmacy, is already distributing a full range of medical drugs, medical equipment and health supplements.