SUNGAI PETANI, Jan 30  — The country’s first batch of 62 volunteers received their jabs for the COVID-19 vaccine phase three clinical trials at the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (HSAH) here today.

HSAH Clinical Research Centre (CRC) head Dr S.L. Vijaya Kumar said the volunteers were from various backgrounds, aged 18 and above and healthy.

“We have targeted 375 volunteers for the trials and this programme will be carried out in stages over a period of one month.

“Each volunteer will receive two jabs. After the first jab, they will be monitored each week for six weeks to see if there are any adverse effects,” he told reporters at the HSAH today.

He said that after the first jab, each volunteer will be given a second shot on the 14th day and, after the initial six-week surveillance, they will be monitored every fortnightly for a year through phone calls.

Meanwhile, Dr Vijaya Kumar said the hospital’s CRC still welcomed the participation of volunteers for the clinical trials and urged the public to call 011-57669114 to register.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba announced the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccine phase three clinical trials, involving 3,000 volunteers, in nine hospitals. 

He was reported to have said that the clinical trials were sponsored by China’s Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS), with the objective of assessing the vaccine’s safety and efficacy against the virus.

The nine hospitals involved, under the coordination of the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR), are HSAH, Ampang Hospital, Sarawak General Hospital, Penang Hospital, Seberang Jaya Hospital, Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital, Taiping Hospital and Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health, through its official Twitter account, said the same phase three trials are also being carried out in Brazil. The phase one and phase two clinical trials had been carried out in China.

According to him, the trial vaccine uses an inactive vaccine platform made from viruses that had been killed.


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