Malaysia Launches New National Development Plan to Transform Nations into Vaccine Hub

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob unveiled a national development strategy and institute on Monday (November 1) as part of attempts to make the country into a vaccine production hub and increase vaccination confidence. 

The National Vaccine Development Roadmap now has three projects ready to go, including two COVID-19 vaccines (PPVN). 

While research and development and vaccine production are costly, they have the potential to yield long-term benefits in the form of cost savings in disease treatment and multinational company investments in Malaysia. The strategy and institute will assist Malaysia in developing its own high-quality, effective, and safe vaccinations. 

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri believes that highly trained human capital in numerous sectors of research, particularly those connected to healthcare and vaccines, can be developed through the application of PPVN and the construction of MGVI. This will expand job opportunities, help grow the number of skilled workers, and improve people’s living standards and health. 

The Institute for Medical Research has created two types of COVID-19 vaccines employing inactivated virus and mRNA, as well as a therapeutic cancer vaccine for the treatment of head and neck cancer, according to the national vaccine development plan. It will also investigate the development of a cholera vaccine. 

For therapeutic cancer vaccine for head and neck cancer treatment, because there is no facility in Malaysia to perform the first human clinical trials, Cancer Research Malaysia will conduct the trial in the United Kingdom from February 2022 to March 2023. 

The country expects to generate more vaccine experts as a result of several government programs, supporting its plan to enhance its ability to manufacture human-specific vaccines, not only for local use but also for the global market. He was also optimistic that Malaysia would be able to minimize its reliance on vaccine-producing countries.