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What Should We Expect From Covid-19 Vaccines

Wong Shu Lee  


  November 24, 2020

We have experienced a very different year due to Covid-19. It has changed our ways of working and socialising. When Pfizer and Moderna claimed they have found vaccines for Covid-19, it was like dawn for many people. However, things may not be as good as they sound. 


Despite these major pharmaceutical companies are claiming to have come close to finding a vaccine and that they had completed the third phase of the clinical trial, none of these companies has yet to publish the data from clinical trials. Whether its 90% or 94%, it’s only a statement released by the company to the media. These reports alone are not enough to convince their effectiveness and safety. 


Meanwhile, in a press conference recently, the deputy director-general of Health Dr Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim said vaccine approval was not a simple process, as it needed to undergo various levels of testing and approval from multiple agencies. 


Before a vaccine is rolled out to the market, the company must publish data from its clinical trials, as required by the World Health Organisation and relevant authorities. The vaccine must pass several stages of testing and reviews to ensure its effectiveness and safety. 


For instance, Dr Hishamshah said, in Malaysia, there is the Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation comprising academicians, medical experts and professionals who will review vaccines approved by the FDA, before they can be selected for use in Malaysia. 


Embrace The New Norm


While waiting for certified vaccines and cures, what we can do now is continue to practice social distancing to keep the virus away. As responsible and civilised citizen, we must adhere to all rules and regulations at all time. For instance, we must wear a medical mask in public places. Besides, we must always remember to scan the MySejahtera QR Code when entering a building. 


On 25 October, Taiwan has reached a record 200 days without any domestically transmitted cases of Covid-19, underlining its success in keeping the virus under control as cases rise across much of the world. Taiwan’s Centre for Disease Control officials thanked the public for playing a significant role in reaching the milestone. This is solid evidence that the virus can be contained if we cooperate with our local authorities’ approaches in stopping the virus. 


Beware Of Scammers


It is foreseeable that scammers may take advantages of people’s fears and the media reports about potential vaccines to start scamming people. Therefore, we must always keep ourselves updated with news and knowledge about the Covid-19 through trustable sources. 


If you’re intended to get a swab test or to get vaccinated (when vaccines are available), please only go to certified hospitals for these services. Do not believe anyone who can offer you a “cheap vaccine” because all vaccines will be controlled and distributed by the authorities to hospitals. 


Besides, there are no medicines or supplements effective in preventing coronavirus. The only way to avoid the disease is to keep personal hygiene and adhere to social distancing rules. 


Don’t Lose Hope


Although it is still a long way for any Covid-19 vaccine to be made available for Malaysia, we shouldn’t lose hope. Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are running tests and trials every day and fighting to become the first company to produce effective and safe Covid-19 vaccines. Our government is also working hard to secure deals with origin countries of potential vaccines to ensure we will get access to the vaccine quicker. 


Before the vaccine arrived, let’s stay strong and be a responsible citizen. Please continue to wear masks and wash your hands often to slow down the spread of the Covid-19. 




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