Not only should Malaysia depend on one form of Covid-19 vaccine

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Pandemic

The pandemic of Covid-19 has caught almost every nation unaware. Last year’s report by the Global Health Security Alliance showed that most nations’ pandemic preparedness plans fell deplorably short.

The widespread risky and brutal speed claimed 1.3 million lives and enrolled 55 million cases.

The scientific community, however has risen to the task and has made substantial inroads into understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus, better known as Covid-19.

In order to crush the pandemic curve and end this global health epidemic, we urgently need Covid-19 vaccines in addition to the public health initiatives of wearing face masks, physical distance, personal and community hygiene, avoiding the 3Cs, meticulous adherence to the Test-Trace-Isolate-Support quartet, reliable diagnostics, and healthy as well as successful therapeutics.

The first human vaccine trials began in March and there are now 54 candidate vaccines in various stages of clinical trials.

Currently 12 clinical trials are in phase 3 and six vaccines have obtained national emergency use authorization.

The science of genetic vaccines is an important advance in the production of vaccines for Covid-19.

In our historical vaccine portfolio, there is no precedent for mRNA vaccines. The technique involves the incorporation into the vaccine of a select mRNA sequence that codes for the coronavirus spike protein.

The vaccine first releases the spike protein that serves as the antigen, and then induces defensive antibodies to proliferate to neutralize it. The first to show that their vaccine was 90 per cent successful were Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.

Covax, an initiative of the World Health Organisation, the Vaccine Alliance and the Partnership for Advances in Outbreak Preparedness, has the largest portfolio of 18 vaccines and a range of steps to bring an end to the pandemic as soon as possible.

An expert advisory board, key opinion makers, economists and scientists will advise the government on the best vaccination choices with the best offers to best protect the interests of the nation and the people.

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