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PUTRAJAYA, April 19 -- Volunteers participating in the phase three clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine from China do not need to be inoculated with other vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He said this is because the volunteers are considered as a protected group and should not be given additional vaccines as they are subject to a special study that will last for 13 months.
“However, the volunteers are advised to follow public health measures such as wearing face masks and and taking care of self-hygiene,” he told a joint media conference with National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on the vaccination programme, here, today.
The clinical trial which involves about 3,000 volunteer, aged 18 and above, is a collaboration between Malaysia and China through the Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS).
IMBCAMS has previously conducted the phase one and phase two clinical trials in China which also invlolved nine hospitals nationwide, including the Sungai Buloh Hospital and Taiping Hospital.
In another development, Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the government took note of the latest information from pharmaceutical company Pfizer that that a third dose of the vaccine may need to be administered.
He said Malaysia has yet to receive any data on the need for the third dose of the vaccine, but the Health Ministry and the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force would create a long-term plan on the matter.
Recently, Pfizer chief executive officer Albert Bourla reportedly said that a third booster dose of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine may be needed between six and 12 months after initial vaccination.