Malaysians not ‘guinea pigs’ as Covid-19 vaccines proven safe, says Cancer Society of Malaysia

Malaysia
The NCSM medical director said any production of vaccines or drugs would also have to go through multiple phases of trials to ensure they are safe for use. — AFP pic
The NCSM medical director said any production of vaccines or drugs would also have to go through multiple phases of trials to ensure they are safe for use. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Malaysians are not being used as “guinea pigs” as the Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to 30 million people globally and proven safe, said National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) general manager Dr M. Murallitharan  

The NCSM medical director said any production of vaccines or drugs would also have to go through multiple phases of trials to ensure they are safe for use.

He explained that the Covid-19 vaccines could be produced in a very short time partly because there already existed technology to create vaccines.

Citing an example, he said people had been taking the flu vaccines developed using the same technology and nobody had developed any terrible side effects all these years.

“Also, one of the very clear indications is how many people have taken the (Covid-19) vaccines. As of about a week ago, more than 30 million people globally have received doses of the three big kinds of vaccines, and this is amazing … Pfizer (Pfizer-BioNTech), AstraZeneca, Moderna.

 “We can see the data, and in terms of the huge group, we see very little side effects. We don’t see any kind of signal that shows any kind of danger. In case you are worried, 30 million people have shown that these vaccines are safe for use,” he said during Bernama TV’s Mid-day Update programme today.

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He was replying to host Jessy Chahal’s question on whether Malaysians are being used as “guinea pigs” because of the short time in producing the Covid-19 vaccines.

On the importance of achieving herd immunity in the country, Dr Murallitharan said it was to ensure that the virus will not be easily spread to the community.

“When one person has (contracted) Covid-19, they walk around and spread it to other people, but the person who is already vaccinated around them would not get the virus.

“When they do not get the virus, they are unable to pass it on. So even if we have a small number of people who continue to have Covid-19, they won’t be able to spread the virus to other people,” he said.

He also advised the people not to be choosy about the vaccine brand because whatever was approved by the authority would have been validated by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for its safety and effectiveness.

Malaysia has now joined the global community in a more intense fight against Covid-19 with the arrival yesterday of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to roll out the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme. — Bernama

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