Mestron Holdings Bhd has clarified it did not obtain approval or a clearance letter from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to purchase or distribute Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia.
The listed company said its intention was to explore and venture into the vaccine distribution business by partnering with China-based Zhongyu Yexing (Chengdu) Industrial Co Ltd. It said this in a statement on Jan 31 after the MoH denied granting approval or issuing letters of permission to private parties for the purpose.
The MoH had denied reports citing Mestron as saying it had received permission from the ministry to begin the negotiation process.
“Only the ministry has the authority to manage access to and the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines. It is in line with the ministry’s duty in managing medical affairs via its agencies, namely the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division,” it said.
Mestron had earlier said it had signed a heads of agreement with Zhongyu Yexing to distribute Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia.
Mestron’s Managing Director Por Teong Eng said the company had obtained the clearance letter from the MoH to commence negotiation and cooperation with any company from China for the importation, distribution, sale, marketing, use and application of Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia.
Zhongyu is part of the Sino Pharma Group of Companies and is one of the authorised distributors for Sinopharm’s China National Biotech Group Covid-19 vaccines.