The use of an inactivated virus in a COVID-19 vaccine is being considered to be safer and more reliable in the battle against the worst pandemic in history.
Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association (PPPKAM) president, Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, said inactivated virus vaccine technology has been proven to work for 40 years.
“An inactivated virus vaccine uses a weakened virus to induce a better immune response.
“If we look at the polio, influenza and rabies epidemics … all of them were brought under control with an inactivated virus vaccine.
“So I am confident that this vaccine is suitable for widespread use to successfully break the chain of COVID-19 transmission,” he told Bernama today.
On Wednesday (Jan 27), Malaysia commenced a phase 3 clinical trial for an inactivated vaccine containing the SARS-CoV-2 antigen at nine hospitals and involving 3,000 volunteers.
The objective of the study sponsored by the Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS), China is to determine vaccine safety and efficacy.
Taking the CoronaVac inactivated virus vaccine by Sinovac Lifesciences Co Ltd as an example, Dr Zainal said it was easier to distribute across the country – including to the interior – because of its minimal storage requirement.
“It requires a temperature of between 2°C and 8°C, which is the temperature of refrigerators normally found at public hospitals and clinics. This indirectly makes the distribution process easier and faster,” he said.
On Tuesday (Jan 26), Pharmaniaga Bhd inked an agreement with the Ministry of Health to supply 12 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine when the first batch arrives next month.
It will be made available to Malaysians at the end of March or in early April.
The CoronaVac vaccine has been registered and approved for emergency use in China, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey.
Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, have been given the vaccine.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency