Government to study other Covid-19 vaccines

Minsiter of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 14 JULY 2020. Covid-19 vaccines Lim Guan Eng
Minsiter of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 14 JULY 2020.

By Mohd Zaini Samsu Hadi

KUALA LUMPUR – The government is considering other Covid-19 vaccines that are in their third phase of clinical trial to ensure immunisation in the country can reach up to 70 percent.

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said that it is a joint-effort across ministries through the Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV).

“Besides the vaccine from Pfizer, Malaysia has also joined the global Covid-19 vaccine supply plan, Covax, which would provide 10 percent of the supply for the population of the country.

“JKJAV is considering other vaccine candidates which are in their third clinical trial phase. An announcement and priority list of who would be receiving the vaccine first will be announced soon,” he said during the Minister question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today, answering the question from the Member of Parliament (PH-Bagan), Lim Guan Eng on the cost, efficacy and coverage of population for the Pfizer vaccine, especially the duration of immunity.

Besides that, the question on medical guarantee on the negative side effects was also raised so that the people can place their trust on the government’s effort through vaccination in order to reach herd immunity.

According to Khairy, the government chose the vaccine from Pfizer based on its interim clinical trial published by the The New England Journal of Medicine on 10 December.

“It showed that the vaccine has an efficacy of 95 percent to prevent Covid-19 infection and the government also has access to the data to evaluate its quality, safety and efficacy.

“The vaccine is also approved for emergency usage by seven countries, including United Kingdom, United States of America, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Singapore.

“However, the final decision to purchase and use the vaccine in Malaysia will be subjected to the registration and approval of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“The process has started and all data supplied by Pfizer will be scrutinised by the NPRA,” he explained.

To strengthen the confidence of the people towards the vaccine, Guan Eng, who is also the former Finance Minister suggested that the Members of Parliament should be among the first recipients of the vaccine.

Khairy then rose and said that the government will study all proposals and announce the final decision after studying them together at a relevant channel. –MalaysiaGazette

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