Majority of Malaysians ready for Covid-19 vaccine, finds survey

When it comes to trusted countries in vaccine manufacturing, the top three nations were the US, Russia and China, according to the survey's participants. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Around four out of five Malaysians (82%) are ready to be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, according to a YouGov survey.

This result comes amidst a flurry of news on the reported effectiveness of various vaccines currently being studied in phase 3 clinical trials.

From the United States, biotech company Moderna reported that early results indicate their vaccine is 94.5% effective against the coronavirus, while pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with its German partner BioNTech, announced that their early analysis shows an effectiveness of over 90%.

In Russia, the vaccine developed by research institute Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology has a reported 92% efficacy, also from early analysis.

Meanwhile, three vaccine candidates from different Chinese biopharmaceutical companies have been reported to trigger antibody responses in participants with no serious adverse effects during their respective phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.

All three are currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials, although no results have been announced from these as yet.

The survey, which involved over 12,000 respondents in 11 countries, reported that the US received the highest mentions (45%) when it came to vaccine-manufacturing trustworthiness, followed by Russia (40%) and China (32%).

However, Russia was the first choice of 21% of the respondents, followed by the US (15%) and China (13%).

Each participant was asked to name three countries in terms of trustworthiness with respect to vaccine manufacturing.

Among Malaysians, Russia was listed among the top two countries in this category.

On average, 44% of the respondents had heard of the Russian vaccine called Sputnik V, although only about a quarter of Malaysians (26%) had.

Among the respondents who prefered a certain type of Covid-19 vaccine, 88% wanted one based on the human adenoviral vector.

Nine out of 10 Malaysians who had a preference also chose this type of vaccine.

The Sputnik V vaccine, as well as the vaccine from Chinese company CanSino, uses a weakened adenovirus to deliver the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into the body.

Both Moderna's and Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccines are based on new messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid) technology.

The two other Chinese vaccines are based on inactivated SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

The survey, conducted on Oct 9-19, covered Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the Unied Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

It was sponsored by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is investing in the production of the Sputnik V vaccine and supporting its development.
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