[ UPDATE 17/01/2021 13:00 ]: Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) has released an FAQ on the COVID-19 vaccine trial. More details here.
The Ministry of Health is looking for 3,000 healthy individuals to participate in Malaysia’s first phase 3 clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine study will be conducted on 21st January 2021 at 9 hospitals throughout Malaysia.
The vaccines are offered only to healthy adults aged 18 years and above. By participating in the study, you will potentially gain immunity towards COVID-19 and COVID-19 PCR tests will be provided.
The study uses inactivated COVID-19 vaccines made by China’s Institute of Medical Biology Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS). This is their first phase 3 clinical trial to be conducted outside of China. According to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, all regulatory requirements including ethical approval from the Medical Review & Ethics Committee (MREC) and Clinical Trial Import License (CTIL) from NPRA were obtained on 8th January 2021.
As highlighted in the poster, there are potential reactions after receiving the injection. This include swelling, redness, pain or itch around the injection site and you may experience fatigue, fever and diarrhea.
It’s also worth highlighting that not all participants will be receiving the real vaccine. According to Sarawak Health Director, Dr Chin Zin Hing, there’s a 50-50 chance that you’ll receive either the vaccine or a placebo substance which has no medical value. This approach would help to determine the efficacy of the real vaccine. In Sarawak, they are looking for 400 volunteers to take part in the trial.
How to sign up?
To sign up for the COVID-19 trial, you can contact the following participating hospitals:
- Hospital Sungai Buloh, Selangor – 011-10045343
- Hospital Ampang, Selangor – 016-7286617
- Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Perak – 011-63311654
- Hospital Taiping, Perak – 019-8546373
- Hospital Pulau Pinang – 016-5213055
- Hospital Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang – 014-9065518
- Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Kedah – 019-5544976
- Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim, Kedah – 017-7931938
- Hospital Sarawak Umum – 012-3108108
Malaysia to start vaccinations in February 2021
As announced by the government, the first batch of vaccines will be arriving next month with priority given to frontliners. To prove that the vaccines are safe, the Prime Minister will be among the first to receive the jab. Malaysia aims to procure enough vaccine doses to vaccinate 82.8% of the population.
After vaccinating frontlines which include both healthcare and security sectors, the next in line are senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses. As mentioned by Khairy Jamaluddin, adults below the age of 60 and are in good health can expect to receive their jabs by Q3 2021 or later.
The vaccinations are not mandatory and Malaysians will need to opt-in by registering their consent via MySejahtera when it’s available. Several industry players have indicated that proof of vaccinations may soon be a requirement for air travel.