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NPRA Approves Safe-to-Use COVID-19 Vaccines

Science Advisor to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Prof Madya Dr Mohd Ghows Mohd Azzam affirmed that vaccines approved by the National Pharmacy Regulatory Agency (NPRA) are safe to use in this country.

He said that NPRA will analyse all clinical data with various protocols and the agency will decide on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to be used in Malaysia.

“NPRA works around the clock to analyse these data. It’s not an easy process, thus we should give them time to ensure that whatever vaccines they approve are the best for all of us.

“For the time being, NPRA has given a conditional agreement to vaccines from Pfizer. Should they approve other vaccine sources and I’m offered to receive vaccination, I’ll be glad to do so,” he stated.

Dr Mohd Ghows added that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology which came into existence a few years ago is now utilised for vaccine development and it is proven safe and effective.

Referring to vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna which use mRNA technology with a more than 95 percent effectiveness rate, he stated that the technology is far simpler and makes for faster sequencing, adding that in the long run, vaccines may be produced more affordably using mRNA technology.

“The one thing this pandemic has done is that it revolutionised mRNA technology. Previously, society had doubts, but the first few vaccines produced using mRNA, Pfizer and Moderna, have shown very high effectiveness.

“For instance, new mRNA vaccines can be produced within six weeks. This is how fast we can alter the mRNA sequencing based on a multitude of variants.

“mRNA is synthetic by nature, thus enabling us to analyse sequences and make new ones based on required variants. After COVID-19, most vaccines will be using mRNA technology as it’s faster, more affordable and safer. These are the main criteria,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Dr Mohd Ghows advised the public to always locate accurate sources and fact check any information regarding COVID-19 vaccines via the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s website or the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee (JKJAV)’s social media account.

Based on statistics, he mentioned that there are 138 million vaccination doses given in more than 70 countries around the world, without any deaths reported to be directly related to COVID-19 vaccine.

“Those who experience severe allergy after receiving the vaccination must inform their doctors immediately. To address this, one should wait at least 15 to 30 minutes before returning home for the doctors to monitor any reactions. Nevertheless, there is a very low number of cases of severe allergic reactions reported.

“The public needs to obtain real facts, such as those from MOH’s website for latest facts. Distance yourselves from anti-vaccine groups or those who incite with the intention of scaring people about viruses and vaccines,” Dr Mohd Ghows stressed.

 

Rosli Mansor

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