New Covid-19 mutation detected in Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYA: A new Covid-19 strain variant, dubbed A701V, has been detected in the Malaysia, the country’s health director-general Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said on Wednesday (Dec 23).He said the A701V was discovered among 60 samples taken from the Benteng LD cluster in Sabah.

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“The A701V and a spike protein mutations, have also been reported in other countries including South America, Australia, the Netherlands and Singapore. “But we have yet to know the clinical impact of this variant, its infectivity rate or aggressiveness,” Dr. Noor Hisham told reporters.

He said the health ministry would continue to monitor the virus mutation and its impact in gauging the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness.

At the same time, Dr. Noor Hisham said the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines procured would be given conditional registration to expedite the vaccination process.

He said the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) had so far received one submission for registration from a pharmaceutical company on Dec 15 for the use of its vaccine.

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“We will review the data and if everything is in place, the vaccine will be approved conditionally, and that will be done before March.

“Under normal circumstances, the process will take 90 to 120 days. But we will try to expedite the process to below 90 days.”

He said the European Medicines Agency had also adopted the practice of conditional registration.

“Conditional registration comes with the rolling submission of clinical trial data, for example. The data will be continuously submitted to the NPRA. We will then continue to review the (updated) data.

“The updated data should inform us of the effectiveness of the vaccine against mutation cases and side effects.”

-NEW STRAITS TIMES/TODAY ONLINE

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