Malaysia working on two vaccines for Covid-19

PETALING JAYA: Made-in-Malaysia Covid-19 vaccines could be a reality in the future as the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) is currently developing two types of vaccines, says the Health Ministry.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said that the two vaccines being developed by IMR researchers are the ribonucleic acid vaccine or messenger RNA vaccine (mRNA), and inactivated vaccine types.

“The development of Malaysian vaccines is a national aspiration as a result of the National Science Council meeting in August last year.

“The National Vaccine Development Roadmap is being drafted and is taking into account the country’s capabilities in research, clinical studies and manufacturing.

“This roadmap involves various ministries including Health, Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Higher Education ministries,” said Dr Adham yesterday.

“This is an effort to increase vaccine development capacity for future pandemic preparations.”

Traditional vaccines use small doses of the virus that are introduced into the body to trigger the immune system.

Inactivated vaccines kill the pathogen or modify in such a way that it cannot replicate, while mRNA vaccines teach the body’s cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

The Health Ministry through the Institute for Clinical Research Malaysia was constantly strengthening clinical research capabilities, he added.

To date, the Health Ministry has conducted clinical studies on 15 types of vaccine, including Covid-19 vaccines, with the clinical research launched earlier this year being the first for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Adham said various negotiations were also underway for Malaysia to participate in more clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine involving various types such as mRNA, inactivated vaccine and non-replicating viral vectors.

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