KUALA LUMPUR, NOV 30 — The Health Ministry is anticipating at least one of the 12 companies currently developing the Covid-19 vaccine to release its first clinical report by next week, said Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health Ministry’s director-general, who fell short of naming the company he was referring to, said the next step would be for the ministry to scrutinise the report before going over its efficacy.
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry have yet to study any official clinical report concerning any Covid-19 vaccine, highlighting it as the first step needed towards approving the use of any antidote, despite Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement of a deal sealed with Pfizer Inc to procure 12.8 million doses of the vaccine from the pharmaceutical company.
“We have found 12 vaccine companies who are currently in clinical phase-three of their testing, but we only managed to have negotiations with 10 of those companies.
“What we were told is that there is a big possibility that one of the companies might release their report or provide their clinical phase-three report sometime next week, so we are waiting to read it."
Know all the 10 leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates that are now in the phase III clinical trials. pic.twitter.com/w8Mf0Ybq0j
— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) November 28, 2020
“They have to send their report dossiers to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because as long as the vaccine is not licensed, we cannot sell it here,” he explained during his daily Covid-19 press conference.
Dr Noor Hisham also denied that being first in line for Covid-19 vaccines were equivalent to being test subjects or ‘lab rats’ for the new antidote, saying a great amount of research and evaluation is needed before approving the use of any vaccine.
“The research has to show a level of efficacy we can be satisfied with and also without any side effects, this is the most important, and these steps apply not only for the Covid-19 vaccine but other vaccines for other diseases as well,” he explained.
He was responding to claims by certain quarters of Malaysians being lab rats and testing subjects for Pfizer’s unreleased Covid-19 vaccine, a grouse triggered by Muhyiddin announcement of the deal.