SHAH ALAM – SIRIM Bhd will cooperate with local institutions on studies during the preliminary stages of COVID-19 vaccine development in Malaysia, says SIRIM group president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad.
Ahmad Sabirin said the three institutes involved were the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh, Perak, and that SIRIM would help carry out testing for the vaccine produced.
“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 during the SIRIM-Selvax Drive-Thru Vaccination Programme at the SIRIM Headquarters conducted by Selgate Healtcare Sdn Bhd today.
Ahmad Sabirin said SIRIM also had the facility to conduct tests 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.
He said SIRIM produced supporting data for the verification process and quality inspection for the fill and finish (bottling) of vaccines, while the NPRA would check the data in detail before deciding on whether to approve the vaccine or not.
Meanwhile, SIRIM chairman Tan Sri Dr Ir Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said the drive-thru vaccination was to ensure the safety of SIRIM staff.
“Currently, SIRIM’s office in Sabah and SIRIM’s subsidiary, namely National Precision Tooling Sdn Bhd, have successfully completed the vaccination of its employees this month. Today’s drive-thru programme aims to speed up the vaccination process and achieve herd immunity,” he said during the press conference.
“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.
Earlier, 120 SIRIM Shah Alam staff and their families aged 18 and above who had not yet received an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, received their first dose.