Ministry looks into setting up vaccine development research centre

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KUALA NERUS: Serious discussions are being held on setting up a vaccine development research centre, to enable the country to manufacture its own vaccines, according to Ahmad Amzad Hashim, the deputy minister of science, technology and innovation.

He said the setting up of the centre was seen as crucial to deal with the spread of Covid-19 or any other infectious disease or pandemic in the future.

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“We have had biotech (biotechnology) laboratories at one time in the past, but not much focus was put on them. But in terms of expertise we have many experts in this field (biotech) in Malaysia,” he said after launching a health website today.

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“It’s only that we cannot confirm that the vaccine will be produced in the near future. It needs to be understood that the production of one vaccine involves a long process of up to two years and may involve an allocation of hundreds of millions,” he told reporters.

The website, www.tanyadoktor.com, is set up by Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin to provide free online health and nutrition consultation to the people of Terengganu.

Ahmad Amzad said his ministry had awarded a RM50,000 research grant to the university to develop a Covid-19 health risk assessment and self evaluation system to detect and manage the risk of Covid-19 infection.

It would be implemented among the university’s staff and students, he said. – FMT

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