KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Malaysia needs to have the ability to develop its own vaccines in the future to reduce its dependency on other nations in the event of another pandemic, according to an expert in the field.
University of Malaya’s (UM) Tropical Infectious Diseases Research & Education Centre (TIDREC) director Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar said although the country had many experts who could conduct research on vaccine development, they could not pursue the matter due to technological constraints and high costs involved.
He said the COVID-19 vaccine, for example, could now be developed in less than a year using the latest technology, compared to the older ones which took eight to 15 years.
“The cost of developing vaccines using the latest technology is high, and if we want to get involved (in the production of vaccines) we have to spend a lot of money for the purpose,” he said when appearing on the ‘Ruang Bicara’ programme by Bernama TV, tonight.
Dr Sazaly said he believed, however, that if the country could develop its own vaccines, it would significantly reduce the costs later on, and this would also have a positive impact on the country’s economy in the long run.