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COVID-19: Experts scramble to develop vaccine but more time needed

22/05/2020 09:46 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22  -- Despite the involvement of pharmaceutical companies at the global level in COVID-19 vaccine development, more time is needed for the process to complete as it is still at the early stages, said Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia president Chin Keat Chyuan.

He said vaccines in general require very extensive clinical safety tests which involve four different stages of clinical trial and only upon completion would they be given regulatory approval.

The manufacturing of vaccines is considered laborious as it involves a mechanism to harvest from microorganism which is totally different from the normal new chemical entity, he said.

“Now, we are seeing unprecedented effort led by the biopharmaceutical sectors to research and develop the COVID-19 vaccine, with billions of dollars having been invested. Even now, there are a few of the vaccine candidates that have been at the clinical trial stage.

“In order to be able to quickly scale up the production of COVID-19 vaccine, companies have been using ingredients to serve as the adjuvant to help boost body immune response to the vaccine even at a very small dose,” he said during an interview with Bernama TV News today.

However, despite all the scientific advancement, most of the pharmaceutical companies and even public health officials believed that vaccine development would take another 12 to 18 months before the first vaccine could be made available, he added.




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