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A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a frontliner at the UiTM Private Specialist Centre in Sungai Buloh March 2, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a frontliner at the UiTM Private Specialist Centre in Sungai Buloh March 2, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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SHAH ALAM, July 31 — Sirim Bhd will work with the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), Universiti Putra Malaysia and the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh in the initial stages of developing the Covid-19 vaccines in Malaysia, says Sirim group president and group chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad.

He said Sirim had the capability to carry out testing for vaccines developed by the three agencies.

“Sirim is ready to play an important role of providing assurance in the development of local vaccines to comply with international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing process.

“It has held discussions with the IMR to also contribute in the development of the vaccine at the pre-clinical stage, and vaccine production on a pilot scale,” he told a press conference at the Sirim-Selangor Drive-Thru Vaccination Programme today.

Ahmad Sabirin said Sirim also had the facility to conduct the test at the Industrial Biotechnology Research Centre (IBRC) which had met the test laboratory criteria required by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

“We have an IBRC facility in Sirim where we have comprehensive equipment for vaccine testing in the country, so we try to work collaboratively with all the agencies,” he said.

He said Sirim had previously carried out various stages of testing on the Sinovac vaccine to confirm the process as well as ensure the final product was both safe and effective for recipients.

Ahmad Sabirin said the testing of the Sinovac vaccine entrusted to Sirim involved the need for complete facilities and a laboratory with Good Laboratory Practices status, where it produced supporting data for the verification process and quality inspection for the fill and finish (bottling) of vaccines.

“NPRA checks the data in detail before deciding to approve the vaccine or not,” he added.

Earlier, Sirim chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said the drive-thru vaccination was to ensure Sirim staff were safe to go out to work. The Sirim office in Sabah and its subsidiary, National Precision Tooling Sdn Bhd had successfully completed the vaccination of its staff this month.

“This drive-thru vaccination programme aims to speed up the vaccination process and achieve herd immunity, where 120 Sirim Shah Alam staff and their families, aged 18 and above, who have not yet received an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccination, received their first dose today,” he added. — Bernama

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