Tuesday, December 7

Dr Chin: S’wak Health Dept looking for 400 volunteers to take part in Covid-19 vaccine trial

0

Dr Chin says that the Covid-19 vaccine trial is part of a national effort to eradicate Covid-19. – AFP file photo

KUCHING (Jan 6): The Sarawak Health Department is looking for 400 volunteers to take part in the Covid-19 vaccine trial which is expected to start in early to mid-January 2021, said its director Dr Chin Zin Hing.

“We are looking to recruit 400 healthy volunteers to take part in this vaccine trial. This trial is expected to start in early to mid-January 2021 and you are expected to come for a total of six visits to Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) for completion of the trial,” he said.

Dr Chin stressed that the Covid-19 vaccine trial is part of a national effort to eradicate Covid-19.

“As long as he or she is healthy and would like to participate, the volunteer can WhatsApp SGH at 012-3108108 to find out more about this trial,” said Dr Chin.

Participation of the Covid-19 vaccine trial is on a first come first serve basis.

Dr Chin said SGH is one of the nine hospitals in the country that have been selected to conduct the trial.

“Our clinical trial teams in SGH headed by (infectious disease physician) Dr Chua Hock Hin will be conducting the trial. SGH is one of the nine centres in Malaysia selected to do the trial,

“However, this is just a trial or study and not vaccination per se, as the vaccine has not being approved for the market yet,” he pointed out.

Dr Chin, however, declined to reveal the brand of vaccine that will be used in the trial.

On Dec 23,, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Sarawak government will ensure the Covid-19 vaccine is provided for free to all Sarawakians, even if it involves high transportation cost to get the vaccine to the state.

“The cost of the vaccine is expected to be priced at RM77 for two doses and this does not include transportation costs. When transported to Sarawak, it needs to be kept in a special refrigerated container with a temperature of negative 70 degrees Celsius.

“We don’t know the cost yet but we are ready to evaluate it. For this state government led by me, the people come first,” Abang Johari was quoted as saying.

He said the Sarawak government decided to provide the Covid-19 vaccine for free to all Sarawakians as soon as Malaysia signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

“This is our preparation (in controlling the pandemic) as it looks like there is a vaccine in the market and Malaysia has signed an agreement to get the vaccine,” he said.