A Covid-19 vaccine currently under development in Malaysia is expected to be ready in 2024.
The vaccine is also designed as a booster and will take into account variants of the virus such as the Delta strain, according to The star.
Preclinical animal testing begins next month
Malaysian Institute for Medical Research (IMR) Director Tahir Aris said they are currently working on two types of Covid-19 vaccines: one using mRNA technology, similar to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines , and the other using the inactivated vaccine. approaching, like Sinovac.
IMR is currently working with experts from Universiti Putra Malaysia and the Veterinary Research Institute of Malaysia.
According to Tahir, the vaccine’s progress has been “positive”, with the inactivated vaccine due to undergo preclinical testing in animals next month.
He said these animal tests will be conducted for about six months, before moving on to clinical trials involving humans next year.
A budget of MYR 3.1 million (S $ 1 million) has been approved for vaccine development, although the budget is limited to laboratory and animal studies only.
The star reported that additional funding will need to be requested to fund preclinical and clinical studies in humans.
Tahir stressed the importance of not depending entirely on imported vaccine supplies and expressed hope that Malaysia’s Covid-19 vaccines would match the quality of those produced overseas.
He also said that the current initiative will be important in the future, in order to prepare the country for future epidemics.
The Covid-19 situation in Malaysia
Malaysia has reported 6,658 new cases of Covid-19 and 107 new deaths from the virus on July 3.
The Movement Control Order (MCO) was recently extended until mid-July, and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced that the government would soon provide additional financial assistance to its citizens.
In some hard-hit states, hospitals are overcrowded due to the influx of new cases, with medical staff struggling to care for their patients.
One million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, donated by the United States, is expected to arrive in Malaysia on Monday (July 5), according to CNA.
According to Reuters, Malaysia has administered at least 8.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine so far.
Assuming that each individual needs two doses, this equates to approximately 13.4% of the vaccinated population.
Actual data, however, shows that just over 7% of the population has been fully immunized.
Top image via YouTube / The Star.