PUTRAJAYA – Malaysia is developing a vaccine to protect against the spread of COVID-19 using the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology, reported Bernama.
Dr Adham Baba, Malaysia’s Health Minister shared in a joint press conference with vaccine coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin today that the Malaysian Institute for Medical Research (IMR) started the development of the vaccine in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in November 2020.
“The original SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants are currently in the cloning stage,” he said.
He added that the development process involves testing in small and big animals (pre-clinical stage) first, then three phases of clinical trials in humans before vaccine registration and manufacturing can begin.
With regard to healthcare workers reinfected with the virus after two vaccine shots, Adham said that there were 1,480 cases with a single category-4 case suffering from pneumonia and requiring respiratory support.
He also added that the majority of those cases were in category 1 or 2, and suffered no symptoms or symptoms without pneumonia.
“This shows that the vaccines protect people against serious symptoms. The data also shows its effectiveness in healthcare workers.”
The minister also mentioned that genomic surveillance efforts have now identified 183 Covid-19 variants, with 167 being variants of concern and 16 variants of interest and that surveillance will continue on for the next three months.