Malaysia will soon have a locally produced COVID-19 vaccine, with development towards it currently ongoing in collaboration with other countries.
The development of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine is via discussions with the University of Pennsylvania, America and University of Chulalongkorn, Thailand.
Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim said that discussions are now at phase 2 and 3 of clinical research.
The progress also involves the transfer of technology and expertise via grants aimed to encourage research, development, commercialisation and innovation (R&D & C&I).
“In fighting and curbing COVID-19 pandemic, we have to be progressive and take steps forward.
“To date, about RM15 million has been allocated for R&D and a special fund for COVID-19 has also been established, called the MOSTI Combating COVID-19 Fund.
“At the moment, the vaccine research is being carried out by several institutions including the Tropical Infectious Diseases Research & Education Centre (TIDREC) under University of Malaya; Universiti Putra Malaysia; the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Ministry of Health; and Veterinary Research Institute,” he stated at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He said this while answering a question from Datuk Mohd Hatta Ramli (PH- Lumut) who asked about the Ministry’s effort in encouraging local industry players involved in the production of vaccines and the related incentives.