Unimas studying antibody progression pattern after Covid-19 vaccination


Dr Tan Cheng Siang

KUCHING (June 30): Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) is currently conducting the state’s first study to understand the antibody progression pattern after Covid-19 vaccination.

Led by principal investigator Dr Tan Cheng Siang, along with co-researchers Prof Dr Asri Said and Prof Dr Lela Su’ut, the study seeks to understand the response of the immune system after Covid-19 vaccination in a local multi-ethnic population.

“I believe we need local data for the local people. We cannot rely on data and evidence from elsewhere because I believe the Sarawak population is unique,” Dr Tan told The Borneo Post.

The virologist said his team will seek to demonstrate whether there is a correlation between the efficiency of a vaccine type and the level of antibodies produced in a person’s immune system.

The team will also attempt to establish when a person’s body will produce the highest concentration of antibodies against Covid-19 and how long it will last.

Questions such as whether the local population requires a booster dose of vaccine and when should it be administered will also be looked into.

The study will compare the effects of three vaccines — Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech, and AstraZeneca.

Those interested to participate in this study will be requested to provide a 5ml blood specimen, equivalent to one teaspoon, and sampling subsequently will be done at five additional time points.

A total of six blood samplings will be collected within 12 months.

The blood specimen will be collected at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Unimas or participating institutions, namely Advanced Pathology in Kuching and Klinik Morni in Kota Samarahan.

Samples will be processed and analysed at Unimas.

Participants will be requested to complete informed consent and biodata forms before taking part in the study.

Participants need to be aged 18 and above and the blood specimen will need to be taken within 72 hours of the first dose of vaccine.

A total of 600 subjects receiving Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech, and AstraZeneca are expected to participate in this year-long voluntary study.

The sample size for participants who received Sinovac has already been achieved.

Pfizer-BioNTech recipients interested to take part in the study can register via https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScCKvHjXNsMsG-tK1Q2oAdegBvECLqrdk4XXRMjj7txjN5lVg/viewform.

AstraZeneca recipients can take part by registering via https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSedpyLLxkZZ7Io0CSvDWax4XA3JBc4K12g05hAuY6bDwD9Abw/viewform.

Dr Tan said they are currently looking for another 60 Pfizer-BioNTech recipients and 150 AstraZeneca recipients to participate in the study.

Senior citizens with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and kidney diseases are encouraged to participate.

Those interested can contact Dr Tan on 011-19180470 via WhatsApp or email [email protected] for more information.

The study has been approved by Unimas’ Medical Research and Ethics Committee.