Health DG: Covid-19 vaccine can be ready in a year's time

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 04 Apr 2020

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): A Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be available in the market in about a year as it is still in the early stages of tests and research, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).

The Health director-general said the World Health Organisation (WHO) are still looking into a few compounds and researches to develop a vaccine for the disease.

"It will take probably about a year or a year and a half before we can get a vaccine in the market.

"Research is ongoing and hopefully we can get the vaccine as soon as possible," he said at the daily Covid-19 media briefing here on Saturday (April 4).

In another development, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MOH) had accepted several recovered Covid-19 patients to donate blood plasma for research.

"Two or three patients who have recovered are coming forward to contribute to science and technology.

"They are donating their blood to help MOH carry out research and for science to look at the viscosity of antibodies (which will be used to treat Covid-19 patients)," he said.

He added that MOH would earlier screen blood donors (former patients) to ensure they are free of virus of other infections such as Hepatitis C.

MOH will also conduct Covid-19 tests on blood donors to ensure they are really free of the virus.

"After that, MOH will take blood from them and separate it into red blood cells and plasma. The plasma will later be sent to IMR (Institute for Medical Research) to study its antibody viscosity.

"The procedure will be repeated after two weeks. If the antibody viscosity is high, then MOH may use the plasma from the patient to treat other patients," he said. – Bernama

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