KUCHING (Jan 7): The Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial carried out by the Health Ministry will be conducted to a world class standard, assured Sarawak Health Director Dr Chin Zin Hing.
Those who are successful in enrolling for the trial will be injected with either the vaccine or a placebo, Dr Chin explained.
Participants will have a 50-50 chance to be injected with either the real vaccine or a placebo substance, which is designed to have no medical value but would help in the trials to determine the efficacy of the real vaccine.
“In this particular clinical trial, the Covid-19 vaccine was developed by the Institute of Molecular Biology of China Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS).
“Malaysia is one of the countries selected by the IMBCAMS to collaborate with them in the field of medical science during this pandemic, and allocated 3,000 subjects for this clinical trial,” said Dr Chin.
He said the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) is 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 added.
“SGH was one of only nine centres of the Ministry of Health selected to conduct this international, multicentre clinical trial.
“Clinical trials are an essential and fundamental process in development of new medical treatments, including Covid-19 vaccines,” said Dr Chin.
Yesterday, he told The Borneo Post that the Sarawak Health Department was looking for 400 volunteers in the state to take part in the Covid-19 vaccine trial expected to start in early to mid-January 2021.
“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, adding that participation of the vaccine trial would be on a first come first serve basis.
When contacted, the number mentioned by Dr Chin above with WhatsApp ID ‘CRC SGH Covid19 Vaccine Trial’ replied to The Borneo Post, saying that more information would be released once the recruitment process started at an undisclosed date.
The reply also included a link to a National Medical Research Register website with some details of the vaccine clinical trial.
The site also specified that apart from Sarawak, other states involved in the trial are Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor.
“The specifics of this clinical trial will be discussed with the subjects selected and contacted individually to come to SGH.
“Only after discussion, and the individual consents to participation, can he/she be formally enrolled into this clinical trial,” said Dr Chin.