M’sian-made Covid-19 vaccine to undergo clinical trials

PUTRAJAYA: Clinical trials for the Malaysian-made Covid-19 vaccine will be carried out over the next few months, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic).

The vaccine, he said, was currently at the cloning stage and would be tested for its effectiveness on large and small animals.

“The vaccine is currently at the cloning stage involving the original virus and the different variants of Sars-CoV2.

“There will also be clinical trials on humans and this will be done over the next few months,” he said at the joint weekly Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) media briefing with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday.

He said the development of the vaccine by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) and Universiti Putra Malaysia began in November last year.

The research is being financed by the Health Ministry as well as the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

Dr Adham said the clinical trials must be done before the vaccine could be registered and manufactured.

On June 13, the minister posted on Facebook that Malaysia was developing two Covid-19 vaccines through a group of IMR researchers.

The vaccines – both mRNA and inactivated vaccines – are among efforts to boost the country’s vaccine development capacity as well as increase its preparedness to face future pandemics.

Dr Adham said 96 clusters from workplaces had been detected in the span of one week, adding these contributed to 67.6% of new clusters between June 13 and 19.

“In the epidemiological week 24, between June 13 and 19, there were 96 new clusters from workplaces, 31 from within the community, eight from high-risk groups, five from detention centres and two involving educational institutions.

“There were no new clusters from religious activities in the same week,” said Dr Adham.

A total of 9,197 new Covid-19 cases were linked to clusters throughout the epidemiological week 24.

Malaysia’s Covid-19 positivity rate in the past week, warned Dr Adham, had seen a rise despite declining number of cases.

The number of Covid-19 tests in the country was 561,156 with the positive rate at 6.93%.

At the same time, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country was 38,911, compared to 41,360 in the previous week.

Negri Sembilan recorded a 11.41% positivity rate in the past week, the highest out of all states.

The state had 38,406 individuals sampled in that period, with 4,383 testing positive.

Selangor has the second highest positivity rate at 10.17%, followed by Labuan (10.07%.), Terengganu (2.05%) and Perlis (2.06%).

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