Around the world, researchers are racing against time to find a vaccine to combat the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest to join the race is none other than Malaysia.
Working on local vaccines
News Straits Times
reported that the Institute for Medical Research Malaysia (IMR) is set to begin testing existing local vaccines.
The testing will reportedly be done in collaboration with the Malaysian Vaccines and Pharmaceutical Sdn Bhd (MVP) and Universiti Malaya Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC).
According to the report, the local vaccines will be tested on the Infectious Bronchitis virus (IBV), which is an avian coronavirus, as previous research shows that the IBV in poultry has high genetic similarity with the human coronavirus.
If the testing proves to be successful, we will potentially have a human vaccine to go into clinical trials soon.
However, it could be a really long process, but it's going to be a valuable first step in the fight against the deadly pandemic.
“Under normal circumstances, vaccine development takes 15 to 20 years, and this approach will enable the availability of COVID-19 vaccine sooner than expected,” said the report.
The report added that the testing will take place in Universiti Malaya’s TIDREC, one of Malaysia's modular biosafety level 3 (BSL3) facilities, previously used to study highly pathogenic agents such as MERS Coronavirus and Nipah Virus.
We are behind you, researchers. Go and kick the coronavirus' a**!