Clinical trial for China-developed Covid-19 vaccine commences in Sarawak

Dr Sim (fourth, right) with the first volunteer (second, right) of the clinical trial for the vaccine developed in China at the SGH CRC today. ― Borneo Post pic
Dr Sim (fourth, right) with the first volunteer (second, right) of the clinical trial for the vaccine developed in China at the SGH CRC today. ― Borneo Post pic

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KUCHING, Feb 3 ― Sarawak’s clinical trial for the Covid-19 vaccine sponsored by the Institute of Molecular Biology of China Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS) started today with two volunteers receiving their jabs at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

SGH infectious disease specialist Dr Chua Hock Hin said the injections given to the two subjects today were their first dose and they will receive their second dose within two weeks.

“Further action or monitoring will be done on the subjects (volunteers) who have been injected within a year and this clinical study will be done until all subjects are injected,” Dr Chua told Utusan Borneo, The Borneo Post’s sister daily.

He said the subjects who have been injected could have side effects such as swelling or redness on the skin and or pain, itching at the injection site as well as fatigue, fever, diarrhea and others.

He said the number of volunteers who will get injected will increase in the coming days as they clear the screening process.

He explained that 375 subjects were being selected and not all who had signed up would be eligible as it would depend on their health status.

Participants in the clinical trial will have a 50-50 chance of being injected with the actual vaccine or a placebo, which is designed to have no medical value but would help in the trials to determine the efficacy of the real vaccine.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who had witnessed the launch of the clinical study, said the two volunteers were local men.

“I feel very lucky and proud to be with one of the volunteers who received the Covid-19 vaccine injection from China at the Clinical Research Center (CRC) of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) today.

“The SGH CRC is among the nine CRCs in Malaysia under the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) was selected to conduct a clinical study sponsored by IMBCAMS,” he added when contacted today.

Recently, Sarawak Health Director Dr Chin Zin Hing said Malaysia was one of the countries selected by the IMBCAMS to collaborate with them in the field of medical science during the pandemic, with 3,000 subjects for this clinical trial.

He also said SGH was well known for its clinical service, training of healthcare professionals and also as a site for world class clinical trials. It also has a dedicated clinical research centre (CRC), he said. ― Borneo Post

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