KUCHING, June 11: Will Sarawak consider using the new inactivated Covid-19 vaccine developed by China-based Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co Ltd (SZKT)?
The first batch of the vaccines has arrived in Kuala Lumpur today and was received by the YTB Healthcare Sdn Bhd (YTBH), a subsidiary of Yong Tai Bhd.
Senator Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian who was present to welcome the vaccine today, said the arrival of the vaccine sets the path for YTBH to become the first private company to roll out their Phase 3 clinical trials in Malaysia.
This followed the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency’s (NPRA) approval for the Clinical Trial Import License (CTIL) granted on June 3.
“Given the resurgence of Covid-19 cases recently, the supply of vaccines become even more important in our fight against this pandemic.
“We believe that these clinical trials are going to be important tools in the overall armamentarium to help contain Covid-19 and make a big difference for our country and this world,” he said in a statement today.
SZKT’s vaccine has obtained the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) granted by the Government of China. It has also commenced its vaccination programme in China, and has been used to vaccinate millions of China citizens since June 1.
For Malaysia, the Phase 3 clinical trial will enroll 3,000 subjects, who will receive the vaccine in two doses 28 days apart.
Asked whether the vaccine would be offered to Sarawak later, Jaziri responded that the Federal government “will work together with the State government in the near future”.
He further mentioned that it is important that Malaysia and Sarawak in particular must achieve 80 per cent vaccination and herd immunity as soon as possible for the purpose of economic recovery and the wellbeing of the people.
On a long term plan, Jaziri said the Federal government hopes to bring SZKT to set up a vaccine research and development centre, together with a production plant in Malaysia.
“This coincides well with this locally conducted clinical trial, where data from the locals are collected. With a vaccine production plant in Malaysia with local data available, this will equip Malaysia with the ability to face and respond to a potential future outbreak or new diseases,” he added. — DayakDaily