KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Research on the country’s Covid-19 vaccine is still in the proof of concept stage, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim said as for the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine, the candidate vaccine would undergo an in-vitro transcription process, involving various complex laboratory tests.

On the inactivated vaccine research, he said the process of inactivating selected viruses would be done and special substances such as adjuvants would be added to enhance the immune response.

He was replying to a question from Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS-Kuala Krai) on the current status of the locally developed mRNA vaccine and about the RM5 million allocation given to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Malaya (UM) for vaccine research and development.

Ahmad Amzad said the research of Covid-19 mRNA vaccine was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), while studies related to the development of inactivated virus vaccine technology were being conducted by IMR, with the cooperation of experts from UPM and the Veterinary Research Institute.

He said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) through its Combating Covid-19 Fund (MCCOF) had also channelled an allocation of RM 4.9 million to finance two projects.

The projects were the Construction of Recombinant Newcastle Disease Virus Expressing Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) Protein of Sars-Cov-2 Virus as a Vaccine Candidate by UPM and the Development of Modular Mucosal Vaccine Platform Using Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) Bacteria Against Covid-19, conducted by UM. — Bernama